Gujarat wedding
Representational image only Credit: Representational image

Kolkata (PTI): Hospitality firm OYO-owned on Monday said the USD 50-billion marriage industry in the country, which was severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak, has started recovering with easing of restrictions and will reach the pre-COVID levels by the end of 2021.

According to an estimate by the company, the volume of wedding events in 2020 was at 40-50 per cent of the number in the previous year and guest lists shrunk by 60 per cent due to the restrictions imposed on public gatherings.

Overall spending for wedding events was also down to one-third of the 2019-levels as the marriage ceremonies got squeezed in the wake of the pandemic, he said.

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“With revenues falling sharply, the industry was adversely impacted due to the restrictions imposed on gatherings due to COVID-19.

“This led to a 50 per cent decline in the number of events and the spending was down to one-third or less than the 2019-levels,” OYO’s CEO Sandeep Lodha told PTI.

In the pandemic months, several unique experiences came to light like weddings without a ‘baraat’ and use of virtual platforms to show the rituals for friends and relatives who were unable to attend the ceremony.

“Compared to 2019, we expect to see 70-80 per cent of events taking place in the first few months of 2021. The businesses are likely to reach the pre-COVID levels by the end of the current year.

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“Further, the number of guests will continue to be at 50-60 per cent of pre-COVID levels, with spending at venues around 35-50 per cent of the 2019-levels,” Lodha said.

According to Weddingz Wows Report 2020, Delhi was top of the list of cities with the maximum number of weddings conducted in 2020, followed by Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow and Kolkata.

As the restrictions have been eased during the unlock phases, businesses managed to bounce back but are yet to reach the pre-COVID levels, he said.

“A total of 15,500 weddings took place across India via the platform in 2020 despite the COVID challenges as compared to the previous year when the company executed over 27,000 events,” Lodha added.

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