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Amended bill to promote wedding tourism more

BVI News Staff - Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Government is hoping to promote wedding tourism more by passing a bill in the House of Assembly on Thursday that will allow couples getting married in the territory to get a marriage license in one day instead of three.

The Marriage Amendment Act was brought before the House by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith.

In presenting the bill, Dr. Smith said there has been a downturn in the world economy, which is affecting the Virgin Islands, and so “it behooves the government to do whatever we can to push tourism in the country and the bill before us is meant to do just that”.

He said the said the bill seeks to amend Section 36 of the Ordinance by reducing the residence requirement for marriages from three days to one day in respect for special marriage licenses.

Dr. Smith said it has been the practice for some people to go to other places from their hometown to get married.

“What is happening Madame Speaker, is that more and more people are seeing getting married as an event, which they wish to have as big as possible and to go to a place that they went before or a place which they read about, and go and have their marriage so that it can be something that they remember,” he said.

The premier also said some couples combined their marriages with their honeymoon so that they will have a package and have a vacation.

“When couples go to destinations to get married and have their honeymoons, what they spend in that particular destination for that event is quite high, and in some cases it’s as high as $50,000 for the event. And apart from that, the couple also carry many people from their hometown to the destination, and so it contributes dollars to many businesses in the destinations.” he noted.

Dr. Smith, who is also responsible for tourism, said many countries are advertising themselves as marriage destinations with the aim to contribute to the whole tourism market.

“While many other countries are promoting themselves, so does the BVI, we have promoted it in the past – we continue to have weddings for people who do not live here but who come and have weddings,” the premier added.

The Premier spoke about a wedding that took place at Neckar Island a few years ago in which all the hotels and guest houses in Virgin Gorda were occupied. ‘This is the kind of activity that is brought by weddings to various destinations and because of that the destination is promoted more and more,’ Smith said.

The Tourism Minister said by reducing the time to get the marriage requirement from 3 days to one day is important because when people have to travel and they can get married in 24 hours they can spend the rest of the time on honeymoon and vacation which will make the territory a more attractive destination for wedding tourism.

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2 Comments

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  1. Last Time
    May 11, 2012
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    What about same sex marriages. They be big business too

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  2. critic
    May 11, 2012
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    need more time to make sure they are not already married

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