Tonga tourism wants marriage law changed to give economy a boost

    The Ministry of Tourism is calling for a change to marriage laws that will mean a boost for Tonga tourism and local economies.

    Foreigners who intended to have their marriage performed in Tonga were required to have one of the couple stays in the kingdom for a minimum of six months before they can get marry.

    But the Ministry wanted this changed to allow them to get it done within five business working days after their arrival.

    The Ministry hopes to promote Tonga as a “Marriage Destination”.

    The Ministry is also trying to allow foreigners who would like to have their marriage performed in Tonga to apply from their countries within 28 days before they come to the kingdom.

    The call for changes in the law is being discussed in a conference organised by a committee selected by the Ministry in Nuku’alofa this week.

    Tourism CEO Fekita ‘Utoikamanu told TBC Television service the committee is also trying to raise the nation’s minimum age for marriage from 15 to 18.

    Tongan parents are able to sign off on their children’s marriages from the age of 15.

    Giving foreign couples the option to get marry in Tonga once they arrive could boost the local economy, and bring more visitors to the Friendly Islands, ‘Utoikamanu reportedly said.

    The conference is attended by Church leaders, town and district officers as well as government stakeholders.

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