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Scotland ‘must do more’ to welcome gay couples, tourism body claims

Scotland could do more to welcome gay couples visiting the country following the legalisation of same sex marriage, a tourism body has claimed.

VisitScotland believes the country could become a popular destination for same sex couples looking to marry, following the recent introduction of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act. The first gay weddings in Scotland are due to take place tomorrow (December 31).

The country already has a well-developed market in so-called ‘marriage tourism’, with around a quarter of weddings in Scotland taking place between couples from elsewhere.

New research by the organisation suggests that while the majority of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) tourists polled planned to visit Scotland in the future, two thirds said there was room for improvement in the welcome they received in the country: 67 of couples from other parts of the UK made this claim, along with 68 per cent of couples from overseas.

According to the findings, approximately four in ten LGBTI travellers would consider marrying abroad and a hefty 84 per cent of those said they would consider Scotland.

VisitScotland said:

“Opportunities around marriage tourism in light of recent changes in legislation clearly exist.”

It added:

“It is clear the message of a warm and friendly welcome is necessary to ensure Scotland does not miss out on the economic benefits of this aspect of the LGBTI market going forward.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    I believe that at one point when it seemed that Scotland would get there first somebody registered a trademark and a website called Gretna Pink with a view to marrying same-sex couples at the old blacksmith’s forge!

  2. Andrew says:

    More seriously: in my experience it’s not gay people who don’t find a welcome in Scotland, it’s English people. Too many Scots go out of their way to make it clear that if you are English you are not wanted.

    I don’t like going there on business and I will never go there on holiday again.

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