Monaco’s Royal Rewards

Expert Opinion

As London gears up for a spring time Royal wedding, the principality of Monaco will be preparing for their own Royal extravanganza when the civil marriage ceremony of H.S.H Prince Albert II and Miss Charlene Wittstock takes place on 1-2 July, the focal point to Monaco’s ‘Year of Romance 2011’.

Summer-long cultural exhibitions, al fresco concerts and all the pageantry befitting the royal couple is certain to boost tourism.

Already an established MICE destination, the royal nuptials will galvanise this market, while showcasing the diversity of the product to a global audience, the Monaco government and private sector intends to take full advantage.

Having passed a difficult year in 2009; 2010 saw a 15 per cent increase in MICE traffic and forecasts show 2011 to be a bumper year hopefully mirroring the record-breaking figures from 2008. In 2010, the UK market accounted for 19 per cent and was second biggest MICE destination to the principality.

Monaco is looking to vigorously grow the weddings market by offering the ultimate unique selling point (USP) of customising the compact city-state to specific requirements and using the royal wedding as the perfect advert. This is already paying dividends, having recently hosted the principalities biggest Indian wedding (650 guests) using key landmarks, opening shops on a Sunday for guests and even allowing elephants to stride in main thorough-fares.

Hotel rates for all 2600 hotel beds in Monaco have been capped at 2010 rates in an attempt to make the royal wedding experience an all-encompassing affair.

During 2011, the major hotels are offering packages that are ideal for couples looking to be romanced in the principality such as the ‘Love is in the air’ package offered by Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo which even includes a helicopter ride over the French Riviera. French couture brand Lanvin’s artistic director Alber Elbaz has dressed the hotel to showcase the unity between fashion and romance.

Lets not forget other major draws for the incentive market that include the Monte Carlo Rolex Tennis Open (April), the 69th Monaco Formula One Monaco Grand Prix (May), and the Grimaldi Forum brings together the Vienna Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim in June.

Royal weddings don’t come around everyday so Monaco intends to make the most of the ripple effect!

 – Ramy Salameh is the London PR Manager for the Korea Tourism Organisation can be contacted via the editor

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