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Worldwide Wedding/Honeymoon Tourism Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Wedding/Honeymoon Tourism Worldwide market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key Questions Covered

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Why are Millennials such an important demographic for the tourism industry?
  • What are the restrictions against getting married on a cruise?
  • Why are church weddings losing their appeal?
  • What makes the Caribbean so popular?

What you need to know

The planning that goes into a wedding can take many months and may create a great deal of stress for the people involved but a honeymoon is an antidote to all that. It provides a period of relaxation during which the newly joined couples can unwind in a tranquil atmosphere. Weddings and honeymoons are two sides of the same coin, though they may not always happen within the same time frame. (Witness the decision of the recently married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who decided to postpone their honeymoon to a future date. They have cited previous engagements as the main reason for the delay and in doing so are typical of many people of their generation, who are eschewing the more traditional route of a marriage, followed immediately by a honeymoon.)

Compared to the past, the marriages (and honeymoons) of today are almost unrecognisable. Largely as a result of social change, they come in so many variations. These days, for example, many couples (particularly Millennials) are eschewing church weddings, opting instead for romantic ceremonies that reflect their own beliefs (often created with the help of a professional wedding planner). Then there is the wider acceptance of same-sex weddings (and/or civil unions) as countries around the world (20 at last count) slowly decriminalise homosexuality.

Wedding locations have also changed. Nowadays, couples can tie the knot in all manner of places – from a beach to a mountain top to a vineyard. Getting married in a foreign country is also popular. This has created a market for ‘destination’ weddings, offered by hotels and resorts in tropical hot spots such as the island nations of the Caribbean.

These trends in the wedding/honeymoon market (and related activities such as engagement parties, hen and stag nights, the renewal of vows ceremonies etc) have created commercial opportunities for the tourism industry, not to mention the hospitality and retail sectors.

It is a lucrative market. A wedding industry website (www.SoundVision.com) using data from American Demographics (among other sources), estimates that in the US alone, weddings generate over US$72 billion annually. Meanwhile, in the UK, according to hitched-wife.org (another industry website), weddings generate a hefty £10 billion a year. (That figure includes spending on engagement parties and honeymoons, as well as the wedding itself.)

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Jessica Kelly , a leading analyst in the Tourism sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Due to the fact that a destination wedding is a ‘one-stop shop’ – ie everything from the officiant to the flowers can be arranged by a hotel or a resort – the burden of organising the event falls on the venue, rather than on the couple. Depending on the range of services it offers, the designated property can plan all the details, far from the prying eyes of people who want to interfere in the couple’s plans. If the wedding is to be held far from where the bride or groom’s family lives, it is harder for them to become ‘involved’. Jessica Kelly
Senior Tourism Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Overview

        • To have and to hold
        • A Niche within a Niche

            • Definitions
            • Locations: Many Guises

              • What is the Wedding/Honeymoon Industry Worth?

                  • The US
                    • The UK
                    • The International Tourism Industry

                        • Figure 1: Top 10 destinations worldwide for tourism arrivals, 2014-16
                    • Popular Wedding/Honeymoon Destinations

                        • Figure 2: International tourist arrivals, selected wedding/honeymoon destinations, 2017
                    • Tourism an Economic Driver

                        • Figure 3: Tourism revenues for selected wedding/honeymoon destinations, 2012-16
                        • Figure 4: Travel & tourism economy showing direct & total contribution to GDP of selected wedding/honeymoon destinations, 2017
                    • The Caribbean: A Leading Wedding/Honeymoon Destination

                        • Where do the tourists come from?
                          • Figure 5: Source markets for tourism to the Caribbean, 2012-16
                        • The Bahamas
                          • Legalities
                            • Jamaica
                              • Legalities
                              • The US: An Embarrassment of Riches

                                  • Figure 6: Top 10 source market to the US, 2016
                                • Cross-border commuting
                                  • Las Vegas and Hawaii
                                    • Las Vegas
                                      • Hawaii
                                      • Europe: The Eternal Wedding and Honeymoon Destination

                                          • Tuscany and Cyprus
                                            • Tuscany
                                              • Legalities
                                                • Cyprus
                                                  • Legalities
                                                  • Weddings and Honeymoons in ‘Exotic’ Destinations

                                                      • The Maldives
                                                        • Legalities
                                                          • The Seychelles
                                                            • Legalities
                                                            • Gay Tourism

                                                                • Recognition of same-sex marriages
                                                                • Weddings, Honeymoons and the Cruise Industry

                                                                    • Figure 7: Global ocean-cruise passengers, 2014-18
                                                                  • Where do cruisers come from?
                                                                    • Weddings at sea
                                                                    • The Role of Religion

                                                                        • Figure 8: Religions followed by the residents of selected countries, 2018
                                                                      • The US versus Europe
                                                                        • The sceptical Millennials
                                                                        • Demographics

                                                                            • In Asia, the Millennials are on the march
                                                                              • In the West too, Millennials are making an impact
                                                                              • Fewer Traditional Marriages than Before

                                                                                  • UK
                                                                                    • Figure 9: Number of religious & civil marriages in England & Wales, at 10-year intervals, 1975-2015
                                                                                  • US
                                                                                    • Figure 10: Marital status of people aged 15 & over in the US, 2017
                                                                                  • National Marriage Week
                                                                                  • Overseas Marriages

                                                                                      • Figure 11: Number of weddings by UK nationals by country, 2016
                                                                                    • Destination weddings can ease tensions
                                                                                    • Millennials Fuelling the Market

                                                                                        • Older Millennials are tying the knot
                                                                                          • Researching with the help of high-tech
                                                                                          • Marketing Weddings and Honeymoons

                                                                                            • Romance is key ingredient
                                                                                              • Wedding movies and TV reality shows
                                                                                                • Trade shows and websites
                                                                                                • What Next?