The wedding industry in Australia is a significant contributor to the economy, pouring approximately $4 billion annually and accommodation operators have a golden opportunity to tap into this lucrative market.
The latest insights from Easy Weddings‘ 9th Annual Australian Wedding Industry Report shed light on how the industry is evolving and how all operators from small regional motels to city hotels can best serve this special clientele.
Honeymoon trends: The call for romance and luxury
With 86 percent of couples embarking on honeymoons and spending an average of $8809, the accommodation sector can create tailored packages to entice newlyweds. Australia’s allure remains unmatched, and unique properties across the country can offer bespoke experiences that showcase the best of their region.
Europe and Indonesia are also hotspots, suggesting a demand for international partnerships or packages that can simplify travel plans for couples.
Fashion and finances: Dressing up the experience
The rising cost of wedding attire, up by 4.3 percent to an average of $2403 for a dress, indicates a market for luxury stays that can complement such splendor. Offering spaces for photo shoots or partnerships with local boutiques or bridal rental companies could provide an added allure for fashion-conscious couples.
Mental health and budgeting: Stress-free stays
Budgeting is the top stressor for one in four couples, with expenses overshooting by 22 percent and the average cost of a wedding in Australia is $33,810. Accommodation providers can alleviate this stress by offering transparent, all-inclusive packages, and perhaps discounts for off-peak bookings, making the financial aspect of their stay one less thing to worry about.
Tackling the cost of living: Value-added services
With the cost of living impacting wedding budgets, accommodation operators can win over couples by providing value-added services that enhance the experience without inflating the cost. This could mean partnering with local suppliers to offer discounts or creating settings that are picture-perfect for DIY couples.
Wedding trends: Setting the scene
The preference for Rustic, Modern/Minimalist, and Romantic weddings, combined with the trend towards all-in-one venues, suggests that accommodation operators should consider versatility in their event spaces. Creating picturesque, multi-functional settings can cater to various themes and preferences.
Understanding today’s couples
Engagement periods are now averaging 22 months, with a significant proportion of couples already cohabiting or with children. Tailoring packages that cater to these demographics, possibly incorporating family-friendly activities or offering extended stays for those with longer engagements, could be key to attracting this clientele.
Engagement and gifting: A time for generosity
With cash gifts remaining popular, accommodation providers could introduce ‘honeymoon funds’ as part of their wedding packages, allowing guests to contribute towards the couple’s stay or experiences.
Accommodation operators can best serve the wedding guest clientele by understanding and responding to the evolving trends and pressures faced by couples. By offering tailored experiences, value-added services, and stress-free options, operators can not only enhance the wedding experience but also secure a slice of this multi-billion dollar industry.
Mandy has over 17 years of accommodation and tourism industry writing experience and is Editor of AccomNews & Resort News, Publisher of SchoolNews & Director of Multimedia Pty Ltd. She is a retired registered nurse with a 25-year NHS career that followed a few unforgettable years in hotel housekeeping.