From romantic secluded beaches and historic sites to archeological ruins and botanical gardens, more couples are saying “I Do” to destination weddings. With record breaking numbers being reported, if your hotel has not felt an increase in destination weddings business, now is the time to update your strategy.
“Today’s wedding couple searches, evaluates and books very differently than that couple from 5 years ago,” stated Marilyn Cairo of AskMeInc, a Florida based hospitality solutions company that specializes in destination weddings. “Your website needs to be mobile friendly, the information easy to find, and your pricing needs to be competitive without sacrificing special touches.” Cairo emphasizes the importance of great real wedding photography, especially on the hotel’s social media feeds. Cairo says that a hotel’s social media feeds – especially Instagram, should have wedding images and the more that is shared – the better. A single great photo can celebrate a union, reveal a hotel’s special feature, and inspire others.
In addition to sharing your destination wedding offerings in the best way possible, Cairo says nothing takes the place of content. Your packages must be what couples are actually seeking. Many hotels offer exactly the same elements as their competitors. Cairo suggests adding something different and special, even incorporating the local cultural uniqueness – such as a beach bonfire for the pre-party or a beachside brunch for the day after the wedding. “Find something that your hotel does amazingly well – and offer that as part of your wedding package.”
Once you have updated your packages, its time to sell. “You must hit the road, advertise, attend bridal shows, get creative and do all you can do to reach your target audience.” Cairo and her team at AskMeInc attend a multitude of bridal shows in the course of a year throughout the country – representing hotel clients from all over the Caribbean. Additionally, the AskMeInc team holds monthly webinars for travel agents and for consumers to update and educate them on the special offerings and packages available at their hotel clients. “Selling your hotel is something that must be done 24/7,” says Cairo.