How Destination Weddings Really Affect Target Economies, According To An Expert

Destination weddings are beautiful, exotic, coveted events that have become even more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic normalized having smaller, more intimate wedding ceremonies over large gatherings. A wedding in a faraway land lends to the atmosphere of a literal dream come true, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the bride, the groom, the wedding party, and the guests alike. Planning a destination wedding is also an excellent way to provide a little nudge to friends and family members who don't tend to prioritize traveling for their own purposes.


One aspect of destination weddings that is frequently overlooked is their effects on the local economies in the areas where they're held. Glam spoke with destination wedding expert Nancy Barkley of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways about how you can expect your wedding to economically impact the destination of your choosing and the surrounding areas. Here's what she had to say on the matter. 

Stimulation of the local economy

"It's important to understand that destination weddings aren't only about the amazing places, styles, cultures, and sights they offer; they are also key drivers of the economy in those areas," Nancy Barkley explains. "Weddings feed into a collection of businesses, from wedding planners to caterers to florists to hotels to tour guides and so on."


The global wedding industry is expected to grow from generating just over $160 billion in 2020 to a whopping $414 billion by 2030, according to a report by Allied Market Research. There is no question that the industry is growing rapidly, and there are huge economic gains to be made. When you choose a destination for your wedding, you aren't just deciding where your memories will be made. You're choosing a local economy to inject with an increase in sales of goods and services, resulting in the growth of more local job opportunities and for a long-term tourism industry to thrive. 

Promotion of the destination

Every business that plays a part in your destination wedding will benefit economically, from the direct vendors to the indirect tourist attractions your guests will visit. Money isn't the only currency being exchanged, however. When you invite people to join you on your special day, you're exposing them to everything your wedding destination has to offer. Nancy Barkley tells us that destination weddings "help to promote the destination to a wider audience, as more people become aware of the destination through the wedding."


As you and your guests share photos and descriptions of the event and venue on social media, review local businesses online, and spread awareness of the destination and its unique offerings through word of mouth, awareness will spread and businesses will benefit. Accounts from real people who have seen and experienced a destination will always be more valuable than a paid advertisement. As you choose the destination for your wedding, keep in mind the economic impact your business has to offer.