Tourism Marketing for Honeymoons and Destination Weddings
Honeymoons, destination weddings, and romantic tourism comprise a $28 billion industry worldwide. Inspired by luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime trip opportunities, couples are willing to spend significantly more for their weddings and honeymoons than for ordinary holidays.
U.S. couples spend an average of $4,466 on their honeymoon, which is three times as much as the average traveler spends on vacation! The top 15% of the market, the luxury honeymooners, spend more than twice as much as the average couple. Capitalizing on this willingness to splurge on luxurious and unusual experiences could greatly increase the tourism potential of a destination.
Why Target Honeymooners?
Honeymooners are willing to pay premiums for extraordinary luxuries and adventures and are significantly less price-driven than the average traveler. 72% of engaged women admitted that they are much more concerned with booking ideal experiences rather than staying within their ideal price points.
Weddings take place year-round, without seasonal limitations. The majority of couples take their honeymoons immediately following their weddings. Although the peak season for weddings is May through October, many couples choose to wed and honeymoon in the off-season as well.
They spend more time and money than ordinary travelers. The average length of a honeymoon is 8 days (11 days for the luxury segment), as compared to the average traveler who spends less than a week on holiday. Since honeymooners are adjusting to their new life together and have more disposable income, they also tend to purchase more than average while on vacation.
|As explained by this infographic from EK Media, 48% of couples plan to spend at least one week on a honeymoon in their first year of marriage.
What are Couples Looking for in a Honeymoon or Wedding Destination?
While most demand is still focused on beach-based, relaxing, luxury holidays, newer honeymoon segments are emerging. Some couples are seeking out adventure travel honeymoons, abbreviated honeymoons due to strenuous work commitments, “familymoons” in which children from earlier marriages accompany the couple, and volunteer trips.
Couples want to celebrate their marriage with once-in-a-lifetime, unique experiences. Destinations need to offer authentic travel experiences that draw from local culture while also catering to honeymooners’ desire for luxury. Tour operators in Mauritius tie the two together by offering rides on a local fishing boat to receive beach massages on an uninhabited island. Some couples are even opting to experience a variety of activities by visiting more than one location, fueling a recent trend towards multi-stop holidays. Two-stop honeymoons allow couples to experience more than one type of vacation, and are ideal for couples whose preferences differ from their partners’.
How Should Destinations Promote Themselves as Wedding and Honeymoon Destinations?
Couples who travel abroad to celebrate their marriages are looking for fairytale weddings and unforgettable memories. They spend an exorbitant amount of time imagining, planning, and booking their dream experiences, researching options across a variety of platforms. Brides typically browse wedding magazines, websites, and trade shows in addition to social-sharing websites and destination-specific websites before deciding on a destination.
In order to attract honeymooners, destinations need to understand and engage with their target audience. Websites should include sections dedicated solely to romantic travel, honeymoons, and destination weddings. These pages should of course should be SEO-friendly, including the key words that honeymooners would likely search when researching your destination. Web content should provide both images to inspire couples as well as helpful information for planning and booking their ideal experiences.
A presence in industry-specific media can greatly improve the visibility of destinations. The wedding industry publishes magazines, maintains websites, and hosts expositions for engaged couples. Once a couple is aware of your destination or knows what to search for, destination websites will be their primary source of information. Readily providing information directly related to their key decision factors, including weather, cuisine, types of accommodation, activities, natural scenery, and budget considerations, will dramatically increase likelihood to book, word-of-mouth activity generated, and traffic to a destination.