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Church Plans Ban On Tourist Weddings

Monday June 15, 2015

Church Plans Ban On Tourist Weddings

Dreaming of tying the knot on Lanzarote? Best be quick then, as from 2016 onwards foreign tourists will not be able to exchange vows in any Roman Catholic Church on the island, thanks to a directive from the Bishop of the Canaries that will effectively outlaw tourist weddings.

Traditionally, the weddings sector has been an important part of Lanzarote’s overall tourist mix, actively promoted at international fairs by AETUR, the island’s tourist board. Whilst also obviously providing a substantial revenue stream for a wide variety of local businesses, both large and small, not least the hotel and accommodation sector.

But that arrangement now looks set to end in acrimonious divorce thanks to a classic cloth versus capitalism clash. As prominent local figures claim that the Bishop is more interested in bashing business than aiding the island’s economy.

The crux of the clash lies in the Bishop’s concern that tourist weddings are generating too much work for his Diocese, especially as vows and services have to be translated for non-Spanish speakers. A factor acknowledged by AETUR, but which they claim is far outweighed by the economic benefits, as highlighted by their spokesperson, who stated;

“This is one of the main sources of income for Lanzarote. We’re talking about millions of Euros, more than one flight a week - imagine the damage this will do to the image of Lanzarote.”

As a result, businesses and local politicians have asked the Bishop to reconsider his stance.

Currently, only couples comprised of at least one Roman Catholic can legally get married in church on Lanzarote

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