RP Wedding Industry To Benefit from Global Recession
With the global economic downturn affecting many industries, the local wedding industry is predicting a slow growth. But the local wedding industry has the chance to reap the fruits of recession.
Last February 18-25, 2009, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano invited officers and members of the US-based Association for Wedding Professionals International (AFWPI) for a familiarization tour of some of the wedding and honeymoon destinations in Batangas, Bohol, Cavite, Cebu, and Metro Manila.
Composed of wedding and event coordinators, bridal show producers, professional photographers and videographers, the participants were given a chance to see a typical Filipino wedding featuring a real-life couple and an entire wedding entourage held at the Ocean Pavilion in Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu City. In Manila, a mini-bridal fair was staged at The Peninsula Manila. The participants in the mini-bridal fair include fashion designer Malou Castillejos, Imacron, Smart Shot Studio, Matus Jewellery, and Penk Ching of Pastry Bin.
During their stay, AFWPI President Richard Markel was amazed on the variety of wedding and honeymoon destinations in the country and their affordability compared to weddings done in the United States. In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Mr. Markel shared, “A basic wedding in the US costs around $ 50,000 (roughly Php. 2,400,000.00) while in the Philippines you can hold weddings for less than half of that, with a honeymoon holiday thrown in the package.”
DOT Sec. Durano aims to tap the North America market by presenting the Philippines as the best option for destination weddings. “This is a specialized market with big returns, because couples bring along 50 to 100 guests who stay here for 5-12 days for the celebration. A lot of couples in the US have already cancelled their weddings this year due to the recession. And most of them are looking at holding more affordable weddings in nonetheless romantic, exotic, and memorable destinations like the Philippines,” added the Secretary.
Meanwhile, DOT Team North America Head Corazon Apo Jorda also acknowledged, “Weddings here come in neat little packages unlike in the US where the couple has to go through each tiny detail and buy everything, even the utensils.”
Jeff Sharpe of Sharpe Photographers, one of the photographers who joined the familiarization tour, shared he hope to entice his US clients to have their weddings and honeymoons in the Philippines through the photos he took during the tour.
Wedding suppliers who joined the familiarization tour were also brought to some of the popular wedding and reception locations in Manila. These include St. James Church in Ayala, Alabang, The Glass Garden in Pasig, Fernbrook Gardens in Las Piñas, Sonya’s Garden and Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay, and the Caleruega Transfiguration Chapel in Batangas.