Hundreds of couples from China, the UK, Russia and India are flocking to Santorini to exchange vows against its stunning natural backdrops.
Official statistics are not available as these weddings are not recorded with local registry offices, but it is estimated that over 1,100 wedding ceremonies were held on the island last year, with Indians splashing out more than others.
It’s no coincidence that Santorini was recently voted second-best tourist destination in the world for newlyweds according to British website 101 Honeymoons. Paris came first and Capri third.
The trend is not limited to Santorini. According to market professionals, an increasing number of foreigners are choosing less predictable Greek destinations for their big day, such as Monemvasia, Skiathos (especially after the success of 2008 film “Mamma Mia!”), Symi, Crete, Paros, Milos, Kos and Myconos, as well as Athens.
Greece also appears to be a market leader in terms of group weddings. Sixteen couples from China were married in Hania, Crete, and a similar ceremony took place on Paros. Also, a group of Russian couples recently got hitched on Crete after winning an online competition organized by a large tour operator called “My Greek Wedding.”
Generally speaking, destination weddings appear to be especially popular in Asia. Greece can only benefit from this, according to Theodore Koumelis, CEO of Travel Media Applications.
“The wedding sector in our country is well organized, with many specialized services for the soon-to-be-wed couple. According to Greek tradition and culture, moreover, one’s wedding is one of the most important events in a person’s life. This is exactly the experience that foreign visitors want when they come to our country and they have increased exponentially in the past few years, coming from all over the world.”