From Dominican Republic News & Travel Information Service
| New tax makes weddings expensive |
The president of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association, Luis Lopez was critical of the government's decision to double the tax on weddings in the DR. As reported in Hoy newspaper, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) ruled that as of January, foreigners choosing to marry in the DR would have to pay US$500, up from US$125. Lopez called this a blow to the celebration of weddings in the DR. In 2006, 90,000 foreigners chose to marry in the DR. He said this would affect weddings that have already been booked, because the couples will have to pay the difference or cancel the ceremony. He considered the US$500 tax excessive. In the US, persons can get married for just US$15. "We are concerned that some sectors do not understand how tourism industry works. Decisions like that reflect the fact that it is not understood, because our competitors are not being taken into consideration", he said. He criticized the fact that the country is becoming one of the most expensive in the region.
Some hotels are encouraging couples to get around the fee by getting married in the US, and then staging a symbolic ceremony in the DR.