Wedding business offers boost to local economy

| 03/06/2010

(CNS): As the destinations wedding market continues to grow the department of tourism is making moves to ensure the Cayman Islands continues to enjoy a lucrative share. Following the success of last year’s conference  ‘engage!09 : something blue’ the DoT has partnered once again with Engaging Concepts and the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to host the islands’ second luxury wedding summit in the Cayman Islands. Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott said the conference was a great opportunity for Cayman and a welcome boost to the local tourism economy at a very difficult time.

“Statistics show that the destination wedding and honeymoon market continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the Cayman Islands are dedicated to establishing a strong share in this market,” he said. “Hosting engage!10 for the second year is anincredible opportunity for local business with a vested interested in the wedding market to mingle with top-notch influential and celebrity professionals who can share their vast experience and knowledge – not to mention the positive impact hosting this seminar has on our local economy.”
He revealed that many of the engage guests were first-time visitors to the Cayman Islands who are extending their stay through to the weekend and were bringing their families with them. “This is a tremendous benefit to the local tourism market,” he continued.
Engage!10 :: will take place 7-10  June at the Ritz-Carlton and will include presentations from the wedding industry’s “A-listers”, including an opening session with Darcy Miller, Editorial Director, Martha Stewart Weddings, wedding cake diva Sylvia Weinstock  and star of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” Randy Fenoli.
 Guests will attend interactive presentations and discussions with editors of major bridal magazines, top destination planners, bloggers and tastemakers such as Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts; Carley Roney and David Liu of The Knot; top hospitality sales trainer Cindy Novotny; Millie Bratten of BRIDES Magazine; world-renowned event planner Marcy Blum; and international celebrity event planner Colin Cowie.
 Attendees will also receive the latest facts on the wedding industry with a research survey conducted by Two Bright Lights and will attend smaller interactive breakout sessions with some of the industry’s most renowned professionals.
“Our esteemed roster of speakers was carefully chosen,” said Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts. “Each of them is considered to be at the top of their field within the wedding market, so it really is an “A-list” group. Through their extensive experience, they bring unique perspectives and insights into the many issues and opportunities facing those serving the wedding industry today.
“This truly is an unprecedented opportunity for Cayman Islands wedding professionals to connect with wedding industry leaders from across the US, Canada and beyond – right on their own shores all while showing these key industry influencers how sophisticated and talented the services and locations are on island.”
During the wedding summit, guests of engage!10 :: cayman islands will visit various wedding sites while touring Grand Cayman with wedding expert JoAnne Brown of Celebrations, Ltd. and indulge in the island’s finest restaurants during an intimate “dine-around experience”.
 "We are thrilled that the engage!10 organizers have again chosen the Cayman Islands for their luxury wedding business conference and that Celebrations, Ltd. could once again design the décor for the entire event,” Brown said.
“Like all businesses we have concerns about the current economy, however, despite the grim forecast for 2010, I am happy to report that destination weddings are still on the rise. In fact, marrying in the Cayman Islands can be a more affordable option for couples wishing to create their dream wedding from simple aesthetics, such as incorporating the beautiful backdrop of Seven Mile Beach and the spectacular blues of the Caribbean Sea, to the reality of the smaller size of the wedding party and guests that will be travelling and therefore the reception costs associated.”
The DoT said registration opens at 12:00 noon on the 7 June and the Opening Session with Darcy Miller,Editorial Director for Martha Stewart Weddings starts at 4:00pm.
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