At TravelAge West’s recent WAVE Awards gala, I had the good fortune to be seated next to Al Keahi, managing director of Tahiti Tourisme North America. In one way or another, Keahi has been involved in promoting travel to Tahiti for decades and, besides being an endless source of information about the islands, he also has no shortage of great stories, making him an ideal dinner companion.
That night, we were discussing last year’s successful Tahiti Connection — our live, online webinar — and, in particular, the many questions that came in from travel agents about destination weddings and honeymoons. As you can read in this issue’s cover story, “Wedded Bliss” (page 12), Tahiti’s destination wedding business is growing, and recent changes have made it easier than ever for couples to get married there.
These changes could not have come at a better time, as destination weddings are becoming more popular than ever all over the world. Perhaps driven by economics or a more adventurous generation’s desire to combine its love of travel with family celebrations, it seems like nearly every resort our writers visit these days boasts a booming wedding business. This is not just an American trend either. As I write this, I’m in Okinawa, Japan, working on a future story, and the resort I’m staying in has two enormous chapels that are booked nonstop with weddings for mostly Japanese and Korean visitors.
Of course, destination weddings can be a very profitable niche for travel agents, as well. So enjoy our June wedding coverage in this issue and, maybe, you can come away with a few ideas that will help your clients tie the knot in the destination of their dreams at this time next year.
Also, in this issue, we introduce a new feature that I think will be especially popular with readers, our Agent Incentive listings (page 9). In an era where “special travel deals” have become nearly ubiquitous, we’re focused on giving agents information that’s just for them, including bonus commissions, travel agent contests, agent-only offers and more. You can also find this information on our website at TravelAgeWest.com/Travel-Agent-Incentives