A major convention was held in Phuket this week, gathering 450 wedding planners from 65 countries to the Thai island.
The fourth Destination Wedding Planners (DWP) Congress 2017 took place from 2-4 May, as part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) bid to position Phuket, and Thailand as a whole, as a destination for weddings and honeymoons – a highly lucrative sector of the tourism industry.
“This DWP Congress 2017 will be an opportunity for us to showcase our readiness and potential in promoting Thailand as an international romance destination,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT. “Not only Phuket, but our main destinations in other provinces can also offer various experiences suitable as a wedding and honeymoon destination, such as, Chiang Mai in the north, our capital Bangkok, or the internationally well-known Koh Samui and Krabi.”
Organised by Dubai-based QnA International, the DWP Congress has previously been held in Greece, Mauritius and Florence, so this year’s edition marks the first time the event has come to Asia.
The choice of Phuket as a host destination follows a report generated at the end of the third DWP Congress in Florence in 2016, which cited Thailand as a preferred or emerging destination for clients in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia.
“Thailand is known for its luxurious beach and spa resorts, the breath-taking views, pristine beaches, lively entertainment, amazing hospitality and the mouth-watering cuisine – it’s truly no surprise that it is one of the most popular locations picked for overseas weddings,” said Ackash Jain, director of QnA International. “Thailand is the first country in Asia to be chosen for this initiative, and these factors played a big role in selecting the destination and the experience it will provide to these high-profile buyers.”
The DWP Congress brings together wedding planners, suppliers and other related companies in an invitation-only event, with pre-arranged business meetings and networking opportunities.
The wedding sector forms a key part of the TAT’s strategy of boosting international visitor revenues by attracting higher-value tourists.