Photo Credit: definitivecaribbean.com/bviweddings
Last year the Territory recorded a decline in the number of persons visiting the Territory for the purpose of marriage and airlift is among the two reasons for the low numbers.
The Civil Registry and Passport Office in their annual report of 2011 stated that due to the economic downturn and airlift issues, marriages in the Virgin Islands decreased in 2011.
It stated that marriages performed by the Registrar General, Deputy Registrar, Marriage and Civil Officers totaled 247, which represented a decrease by 52 when compared in 2010.
According to the Registry, with the new technology (CRIS), getting married in the Territory would become much easier and quicker for persons living abroad. With this, a person can prepare his/her marriage license application online and upon arrival in the Territory, pay for the license.
Further, the report mentioned the residency requirements which will be reduced from three days to one day.
"We are hopeful that with these changes and with proper marketing in collaboration with the BVI Tourist Board, the Virgin Islands would become the honeymoon and wedding destination of the Caribbean," the report stated.
On May 10, Legislators passed amendments to the Marriage Act as Government expressed the need for the Territory to enhance its competitiveness as a wedding and honeymoon destination. The amendments tabled by Premier Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith are to reduce residency requirements for a special marriage license from three days to one.
The previous rule stated that a couple was required to be in the BVI for three business days before they could be married.
During the debate, Members of the House supported the Bill and Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn said the wedding industry in the United States is booming and like other Caribbean countries, the BVI must position itself to benefit from the industry.
Members echoed the same view that the objective of the Bill can only be realized if it is properly marketed.