The agency in charge of promoting Guernsey to tourists wants to tap into a growing market for "destination weddings".
It comes after Guernsey's new Marriage Law was granted Royal Assent, presenting VisitGuernsey with what it describes as a "long-awaited opportunity to capitalise on the highly-lucrative wedding tourism market".
The new law, which will come into effect on 1 March, will enable couples to get married at a wider range of locations and venues including hotels, beaches and gardens.
The new rules also mean that couples will no longer need to be a Guernsey resident in order to get married here, which opens the door to wedding tourism.
Pictured: The new laws will enable people to have a sunset wedding at Petit Port, for example.
"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," said Wendy Pedder from the promotional agency. "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’."
Economic Development Committee Member Simon Vermeulen said the law change would help to boost the sector when travel is able to safely resume again.
“The potential for Guernsey to benefit from the new marriage law cannot be under-estimated," he said. "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.
Pictured: Former hotelier Deputy Simon Vermeulen has taken the lead on the Economic Development Committee's tourism mandate.
"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."
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.
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