The Gold Coast and Phuket are working towards an exciting relationship as Sister Cities in a partnership which will see the coast’s recreational dive and tourism industry boom.
Mayor Tom Tate and Phuket’s Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung signed the first documents to start work on the formal relationship at a special ceremony at the Governor’s office in Phuket on Monday.
It’s understood Sister Cities can take up to the three years to finalise, but Mayor Tate says the partnership could not have come at a better time for our tourism and dive industry.
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“Phuket has a very well established recreational dive industry and we want to capitalise on that,” the Mayor said.
“Our artificial dive precinct is probably 18 months away from becoming a reality, so the timing is perfect.”
Mayor Tate said the city’s aim is to “encourage international tourists who visit Phuket to dive, then make their way to the Gold Coast to experience our unique dive precinct.
“Similarly, our dive industry will promote Phuket for those departing Australia, seeking a memorable dive experience.”
Mayor Tate said a formal Sister Cities relationship would also allow the Gold Coast to share its knowledge in life saving and beach cleaning with Phuket.
“Beaches are their lifeblood for tourism, much the same as ours so beach cleanliness is coming to the fore as a real issue,” said Mayor Tate.
“I’m also keen to establish a lifeguard exchange, similar to what we have achieved with Japan.”
Phuket is Thailand’s only island province with a population of 400,000.