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New Guernsey marriage law given royal approval in tourism boost for the Bailiwick

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Monday 23 November 2020

The new Marriage (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2020, which has just been given royal assent and will become law in Guernsey on the 1st March 2021, presents a long awaited opportunity to Guernsey's tourism industry to capitalise on the highly lucrative wedding tourism market.

The new law, enables couples to get married in a much wider range of locations and venues including hotels, beaches, gardens, etc. across the Bailiwick and under more simplified conditions.

The new rules mean that couples will no longer need to be a resident on the island before they marry and allows them more flexibility to get married at a greater range of times during the day or evening.

With this change in law, couples from the UK and beyond will be able to travel to the island along with their family and friends for a 'destination wedding', opening up a new sector for Guernsey's tourism sector to target going forward. The new law presents a great opportunity for the Bailiwick's hotel and hospitality industry, who will now be able to benefit from holding ceremonies and offering wedding-specific packages.

The value this is expected to bring to the Bailiwick is reflected in recent data by Global Analytics Market that says that 25% of weddings are now classified as 'destination weddings'.

Deputy Simon Vermuelen, member of the Committee for Economic Development said:

"The potential for Guernsey to benefit from the new marriage law cannot be under-estimated, not only does it present a great opportunity to help boost the island's tourism economy, but it will also put Guernsey on the map as a special occasion destination. We look forward to welcoming couples and their friends and family to the island in 2021 and beyond, to celebrate their special day."

The law also means anyone will be able to perform the ceremony once they have successfully completed the necessary training to become a Civil Celebrant.

He continued:

"This year has been extremely challenging for Guernsey's tourism sector, as it has been for tourism globally.  While the Island's effective COVID-19 response means the number of cases is extremely low and there is no requirement for social distancing, face-masks or other on-island restrictions, the pandemic has meant restrictions on travel.  However it is hoped that when travel activity is able to safely resume, the new marriage law will give visitors yet one more reason to come to Guernsey and help the sector bounce back quickly."

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