Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Phuket hosted the 4th Annual Destination Wedding Planners' Congress 2017 (DWP Congress 2017), a conference of global wedding planners that brought luxury destination wedding planners, leading suppliers and creative partners under one roof.

More than 450 global wedding planners from 65 countries participated in the event, which was held from May 2-4 and was the first of its kind to be held in Asia. It was organized by Dubai-based QnA International and hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The three previous editions were held in Greece, Mauritius and Italy.

“The Thai Government has always recognized the importance of the wedding and honeymoon segment as one of the top generators of tourism revenue,” said Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

“We aim to develop Thailand as the wedding hub of the Asean region,” she added.

She added that the conference presented an opportunity to showcase what Thailand has to offer in terms of weddings and romance.

“Thai hospitality and services can make any dream wedding even more memorable, while the amazing Thai food is one of our strengths for a wedding reception. We can offer various styles of food, from international cuisine to authentic Thai dishes and from tasty Thai local food to Michelin-star food prepared by internationally renowned chefs,” Ms Kobkarn said.

“Additionally, there are many honeymoon packages designed to match the once-in-a-lifetime experience that Thailand provides,” she added.

Thailand has long been a hotspot for tourism, and has, in recent times, gained popularity as a venue for destination weddings and romance.

In a report generated by QnA International at the end of the 3rd DWP Congress in Florence last year, Thailand was frequently cited as a preferred or emerging destination of choice for couples from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia.

“We are delighted to welcome wedding planners and key influencers in the global wedding business to Phuket,” said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

“DWP Congress 2017 will be an opportunity for us to showcase our readiness and potential in promoting Thailand as an international romance destination, through our professionalism, hospitality, creativity, and of course, our well-known Thai touch,” he said.

He added that other cities in Thailand would also make suitable wedding and honeymoon destinations, including Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Krabi.

Akash Jain, Director of QnA International, said that there were many factors contributing to Thailand’s rise in popularity as a destination wedding venue.

“As we know, Thailand is well-known for its luxurious beach and spa resorts, breathtaking views, pristine beaches, lively entertainment, amazing hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine – it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular locations picked for overseas weddings,” said Mr Jain.

“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,” he added.

Participation in the conference was by invitation only, making it highly-focused and exclusive to industry leaders.

This article first appeared in the May 6-12 issue of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette newspaper.

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— Sukawin Tanthavanich

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