MarketersMedia (Thompson Reuters) — The trend for marriage abroad has seen significant growth averaging 24% per year since 2010. In the U.S., there are 2+ million marriages every year with 18 percent of first marriages taking place abroad. Include second marriages in the mix and that figure jumps to 60 percent. A survey from UK National Statistics showed even higher percentages, stating one in four couples will get married abroad.
Costa Rica has positioned itself as a leading wedding destination, leveraging decades of experience in tourism with respect to access, accommodations, transportation, catering and event planning. The country`s diverse landscapes and stunning array of tropic flora and fauna have made it a favorite destination among Americans, Europeans and Canadians.
As an established wedding destination, Costa Rica receives high placement on many ranking indices. Recently it was recognized as the top destination for weddings in Latin America in The Knot Market Intelligence: 2012 Destination Weddings Study, capturing 36 percent of the vote for first place.
Hotelier and a pioneer within the eco-sustainability movement in Costa Rica, Jim Damalas believes that Costa Rica is precisely what the millennium bride is looking for in a wedding destination.
Mr. Damalas is the founder of Greentique Hotels, a collection of sustainable hotels located throughout Costa Rica – from the beaches of Manuel Antonio to the cloud forests of San Ramon and down to the untouched region of the Osa Peninsula, Greentique Hotels stands testament to the benefits of sustainable tourism.
“Early on we recognized the needs of the millennium bride and as a result of what the data showed us, we took an active roll in providing premium Costa Rica wedding destinations. We offer unique tropical locations, including pristine waterfalls and lush butterfly gardens, providing memories to last a lifetime.” said Jim Damalas, General Manager of Si Como No.
The Costa Rica brand is exciting, adventurous, tropical and sexy. North American and European couples see this tropical paradise as a romantic, adventurous wedding destination, where getting married at the foot of a volcano, beneath the palms of a white sand beach, or in the heart of the rainforest, are perfect backdrops for starting a new life together.
Ireth Rodriguez, Deputy Manager and Marketing Director of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT), differentiated Costa Rica`s position in the industry, “Costa Rica`s exotic locales, romantic atmosphere and favorable climate are only a few of the reasons why more and more couple`s are finding themselves saying `I Do` in Costa Rica. What truly distinguishes Costa Rica from other wedding destinations is its unique blend of natural atmospheres with premium luxury services.”
Here are the primary reasons behind Costa Rica`s rise to the top of the Latin America wedding destination list for North American couples:
Proximity and access is key to Costa Rica`s appeal as a top wedding destination. Major international airports in the US are between three and six hours from Costa Rica. The benefits are time savings, little to no time zone change and less expensive airfare.
Expert, experienced service providers. The benefit is high quality, professional support in all aspects of planning and scheduling, ensuring success.
Exotic and vibrant culture is abundant in Costa Rica. The country has a long standing democracy and the largest middle class in Central America. It prides itself as the only nation in the region without a standing army, as well as its large investment in the arts and education. The benefit is people feel a sense of peace, calm and safety while here.
Ease of legal requirements for getting married in Costa Rica. There are a few basic requirements including, but not limited to, a valid passport and two witnesses. The benefit is minimal red tape which helps to reduce time, stress, and the anxiety typically associated with weddings in foreign nations.
As the trend for marriage abroad continues to climb, Costa Rica is well-positioned not only as a global leader in adventure tourism, but also as a leading wedding destination. With a commitment to making nuptials for foreign couples as wonderful and memorable as the country itself, Costa Rica is the perfect place to get married life off to a spectacular start.