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US$4.5 Billion Mid-East Destination Wedding Tourism Defines the Hospitality Sector in the Region

Destination wedding tourism, as well as solo and female led travel and ecotourism, wellness, adventure and agritourism (EWAA) are defining the hospitality industry landscape, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020 (ATM), which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from Sunday 19 – Wednesday 22 April 2020.



The research by Colliers International, ATM’s official research partner, revealed that the destination wedding segment is worth more than US$90 billion globally, with 25% of marriages now taking place abroad – equating to approximately 340,000 destination weddings every year.


Looking at the Middle East specifically, the regional market is worth over US$4.5 billion, attracting 5% of the global destination weddings market. The UAE is the most favoured location as a result of the emirate’s relaxed visa regulations, easy connectivity, year-round sunshine, its variety of pristine beaches and scenic mountain ranges.



Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Destination wedding tourism is just one of four key trends identified in the Colliers report that will define the Middle East, and indeed, the global travel and tourism market as well as consumer behavior, as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market

Ecotourism, Wellness, Adventure and Agritourism (EWAA) is another notable emerging trend, particularly among environmentally conscious consumers. According to the Colliers data, 70% of global travellers are now more likely to book accommodation that is eco-friendly, with 52% prepared to alter their behavior on holiday to become more sustainable.


“Overseas weddings are now playing a key role in the overall growth of the global hospitality industry, as more couples seek a unique as well as a personalised experience abroad. And in addition, these weddings are also positively impacting the local economies,” she added.

Today’s travellers are more attuned to the environmental impact of tourism and are looking for destinations that provide sustainable accommodation and experiences such as glamping, a form of camping that combines the traditional components with more luxurious facilities and amenities.