Agents Cash in on Destination Weddings

Destination weddings are big business for travel agents. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by The Knot &, 24 percent of marriages are destination weddings and over 75 percent of these affairs are planned by travel agents. is no stranger to the wedding planning game. The company, with currently 170-plus home-based travel agent members, offers full service to planning and coordination of destination weddings and honeymoons. Known as Destination Wedding Travel Specialists, agents help couples plan their big day, from venue selection to taking care of travel arrangements for guests. They also stay in-the-know on the hottest destinations for weddings.

So what are some of today’s trendiest spots for destination weddings? Ed Cotton, chief operating officer of’s notes, “Our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists attest that Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic continue to be hot spots for destination weddings this year. Fifty nine percent of’s couples who are engaged choose the Riviera Maya, Mexico for their big days.” He adds, “We attribute this to the destination’s beautiful location and beaches, affordability and variety of all-inclusive resort options, increases in resorts that specialize in destination weddings, and easy and affordable airlift from cities across the U.S. and Canada. Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in Jamaica are other top choices, comprising 17 percent of our destination weddings, whereas 11 percent of couples choose Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to marry for many of the same reasons, including incredible beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and the presence of destination wedding specialists onsite.”

This summer, as part of its continued support for their travel agent members, and El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels by Karisma are hosting their second annual Symposium.  The event, representing one the largest group of qualified wedding coordinators together at any one time for the second year, is taking place Aug. 10-12 at El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort, by Karisma in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

The event will honor the company’s top Certified Destination Wedding producers, which according to the company have earned $75,000-$100,000 in commissions annually. The Symposium will also feature informative sessions by notable panelists from the industry, breakout sessions, and celebrations such as a Mayan-themed vow renewal ceremony for attendees at El Dorado Maroma’s seaside wedding chapel and a gala dinner and awards ceremony.

How can you become a specialist? According to Cotton, the company normally looks for home-based travel agents with at least five years leisure experience. After filling out an online application form, candidates then complete a phone interview, followed by about two weeks of training.

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