How Tourism Authorities in Europe Help Destination Wedding Planners
by Kanika Mehta Weddings | April 20, 2017 | News
Tourism authorities can make the whole planning process simpler by connecting the planner to vendors and suppliers and facilitating meetings with them. They can also help with venue finalization by marketing popular locations and historical spots in that country.
We catch up with Tourism Boards and Convention Bureaus of different destinations in Europe such as Vienna, Florence, France, Barcelona etc and find out all that they do to help planners execute flawless wedding experiences in destinations they may have never even visited before! We also speak to some Indian wedding planners who tell us how Tourism Authorities made their life much easier when executing weddings at different European locations. Read on...
Speaking on the crucial role of tourism authorities, Aditya Motwane, Director, Motwane Entertainment and Weddings remarks, “Local tourism authorities are critical. They line up choices, open doors and drive feasibility. Across Europe, the most capable people run the show. In almost all wedding projects their contribution in terms of optimizing ease of business deserves special mention.”
Carlotta Ferrari, Director, Tuscany for Weddings - Firenze Convention & Visitors Bureau stresses on the fact that the local Convention Bureau(CVB) should be the first point of contact to provide information about the destination because the CVB is a neutral and impartial resource for the wedding planner that facilitates him/her to seek and find the best solutions to realize events.
She says, “The CVB not only has a complete overview of what is available in the destination as venues but also offers information about the issues related to hotel accommodation and transportation as well as provides a welcome desk at the airport and at the hotels for the guest check-in procedure. Another important thing to be emphasized is that all the services provided by a CVB are on a complimentary basis.”
Speaking along similar lines, Mercedes Garcia, Manager, Barcelona Weddings talks about how Barcelona Weddings, a tailor-made program within Turisme de Barcelona offers advisory services for the destination wedding planners community that are considering Barcelona as a wedding destination.
She explains, “All of our services are free of charge ensuring you of our neutrality! We provide advice on every aspect, from locating unique venues and accommodation to catering services, designers, transportation, photography, local wedding planners, and much more! Moreover our Barcelona Weddings community has expertise in multicultural celebrations and has undergone a significant selection process based on quality and excellence.”
Bhavnesh Sawhney, Director, Wedniksha adds, “The local tourism and local authorities help us get to know the destination better as they know it in and out. Just by telling them what kind of an experience we are looking for they can tell us where to go. They belong there and they know the history behind the place which gives us as planners an insight into the place quickly. They also help us meet local vendors and help us find things we cannot source easily.”
Verena Jandak-Hollenthoner, CMP, Marketing Manager, Vienna Convention Bureau elaborates on some of the CVB’s services saying, “We provide planners with information on Vienna; from general information on how to travel to and in Vienna, recommendations on hotels, restaurants, conference and meeting venues to information on adequate partners.”
Speaking of the recent wedding WDC designed and produced in Vienna, Vandana Mohan, Director, The Wedding Design Company(WDC) explains, “When planning a destination wedding we have to keep in mind the local regulations and rules of the country, the same was done in Vienna. Austria as a country is bound by some of the stringiest laws but the local authorities were very cooperative and made the process easier.”
While Sheetal Munshaw, Director, ATOUT FRANCE - France Tourism Development Agency talks about how in order to facilitate wedding planners in their endeavour to showcase France as a contender, ATOUT FRANCE - France Tourism Development Agency is always receptive to hosting recces and familiarization trips. Elaborating on the role of a Tourism Board/Convention Bureau, Sheetal Munshaw says, “We have suppliers in France who have expertise in their respective domains and we facilitate interaction with them. We also have regional/city-wise convention bureaus to assist with the wedding planning, recommend unique locations, ideas to add a local French touch to the décor, menu or gifts and favours based on the brief of the family. Last but not the least, we also work as an interface with the Embassy and Consular services for visa facilitation.”
Moreover, in order to gear the French suppliers to cater to this niche segment ATOUT FRANCE launched a dedicated Indian destination wedding guide which serves as a ready reckoner for the French travel and hospitality professionals to gain a better understanding of what an Indian wedding entails, the logistics as well as the cultural and symbolic nuances that provide insight and allow for a seamless exchange between the Indian family, wedding planner and travel agent with the French suppliers, receptive agents, hotels, etc.
“As the National Tourism Board we also handle the Convention mandate and have dedicated buyer seller platforms to showcase France as a MICE destination. We recognize the potential of the wedding segment and have seen a rise in interest for France as an opportune wedding destination and have also been host country to some Big Fat Indian Weddings in the last few years,” adds Munshaw.
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We catch up with Tourism Boards and Convention Bureaus of different destinations in Europe such as Vienna, Florence, France, and Barcelona and find out all that they do to help planners.