Fat Guj’s weddings lack NRG boost | Ahmedabad News
Winter comes, and Gujarat’s business community is thrilled as non-resident Gujaratis (NRGs) from all over the world flock to the state for big weddings and spend a fortune. But travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic over the past 20 months have shut down the wedding industry as many NRGs have canceled weddings. From wedding planners and clothing showrooms to top hoteliers and jewelers, those used to a peak season between December and January have seen a decline in the custom.
The high demand in the local market, however, has come as a savior for the wedding business.
Event planners miss out on Gujarati business overseas
Although domestic weddings have picked up this year and recreated a buzz in the industry, wedding planners say they were counting on NRG weddings. “We have seen US and Canadian NRG weddings canceled this month because families were unable to travel due to flight issues. Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, the number of international flights has not only gone down, but the cost of tickets, too, have gone up, “said Harsh Jain, owner of Ahmedabad-based Dezire Events.” Most NRGs prefer to get married here between December 15 and January 15. because they have Christmas or New Years holidays then. But in 2020 and this year our NRG wedding business has dropped by about 30%, “Jain added.” NRG weddings barely take place this year due travel restrictions and other restrictions. This year, however, the majority of business comes from the domestic market, with people preferring local and destination weddings, “said Pintoo Dandwala, owner of an Ahmedabad-based event management company. According to Krunal Parekh, an organizer of Ahmedabad-based marriage, said: “We have received eight out of ten NRI requests from countries like the United States, Germany and Nigeria, for weddings in January-February and even in May and June. Nothing concrete. has not been finalized. for now. Usually these weddings are planned much earlier and reservations are made in advance, but due to the pandemic situation events have not been planned. ”
Guest ceiling raised, local unions boost industry hopes
Estimates from wedding planners and event managers suggest that the national wedding market has grown overall. With Covid-19 cases remaining low, fewer restrictions on public movement and the guest ceiling being 400, people are having weddings with much more confidence than before, according to wedding planners. Opportunities that were planned but postponed last year for one reason or another are being organized this year. In fact, weddings at destination as well as those in the city are going on big. Krunal Parekh, an Ahmedabad-based wedding planner, said: “There is more demand than supply for venues both in Ahmedabad as well as prime locations for destination weddings. Udaipur has remained the favorite among people who organize destination weddings and these usually take place with a guest list of 200-300 people. Inquiries for planning weddings in Goa and Mussoorie are also going well. Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are also preferred for destination weddings, industry players suggest. This time around there are fewer muhurats and therefore the availability of venues on certain dates is a challenge. For example, November 21-22, November 27-28, and December 9-10 are good muhurats in the coming months and hotels and party grounds are fully booked so that a given property is hosting two weddings or occasions. per day. “The postponed celebrations from last year are now taking place. In November alone there are 21 weddings at our hotel. On some muhurats the demand is so good that we are running three events simultaneously,” said Jay Sudhakaran, director. General of the Novotel Ahmedabad.
Canceled functions worry hoteliers
From lavish wedding venues to guest rooms, the hospitality industry has always generated a major activity for NRG weddings. The pandemic, however, has not only suppressed their regular activities, but has also had an impact on wedding bookings. Many hoteliers are skeptical that they also won’t get many bookings from NRG this season. “We used to generate a lot of income from NRG weddings, but now our business has dropped to just 20% of normal bookings. Many NRGs are still afraid of Covid and travel restrictions as well as international flight connectivity issues have guaranteed that most weddings will be called off, ”said Piyush Shah, general manager of Grand Mercure Surya Palace.
Domestic demand provides a cushion for stakeholders: Deep Preet Bindra, Managing Director, Courtyard by Marriott, Ahmedabad, said, “Even though NRG’s business is not there, demand from local customers is good. Even the people who could not organize weddings at destination due to the lack of availability of venues in other places organize weddings in hotels in the city and as a result the business and income is good. ”