Tourists intending to use Dominica as a wedding destination will find the process much simpler since the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act of 2012.

The Marriage Amendment Act of 2012 was the final bill passed in last week’s fourth meeting of the first session of the eighth parliament and was read by Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Hon Gloria Shillingford.

She says, “A review of the present system of processing the marriage license application reveals that it is tedious, cumbersome and time consuming.  It was felt that a re-engineering of the process would greatly improve and enhance the service to the public while at the same time yielding great opportunities for Dominica to get a share in the new but rapidly growing destination wedding and honeymoon market.  The destination wedding and honeymoon market has been a growth market around the world and more and more countries in Europe and the Caribbean are becoming involved.  There is no doubt that much economic activity can be generated from the destination weddings and honeymoon industry.  There is definitely great revenue earning possibilities for Dominica if the country is effectively marketed as an ideal wedding and honeymoon destination.”

“We will all agree that Dominica has great potential in the area of nature or eco-tourism and that this type of tourism is becoming increasingly appealing to tourists from North America and Europe.  There is therefore dire need for expediency for the processing of marriage license applications if Dominica is to take its place in this lucrative market and further if we have to compete with other destinations both regionally and beyond.”

The new act allows for the Minister Of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs to delegate some responsibility for signing marriage licenses to a Senior Officer of that Ministry.

The marriage petition will also be replaced by a simpler form, and residency requirements will be made more convenient.