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Phuket Gov to lead delegation to Nice, France

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Gov to lead delegation to Nice, France | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop will lead a delegation of government officials and private sector representatives to Nice, France to discuss ways of improving links between the two locales, which have been “sister cities” for over two decades.

The visit, scheduled to run from July 16 to 23, follows receipt on July 9 of an official letter of invitation issued by Mr Rudy Salles, Nice’s Deputy Mayor in charge of international relations.

On the tour agenda will be discussions on ways of improving cooperation in areas such as trade, tourism, education and cultural exchange.

The two “cities” have been twinned since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 1989.

This is a good time to visit Nice again. Phuket and Nice are similar in that they are both tourist destinations. I hope that our leaders can learn some useful community development strategies during the trip,” said Gov Wichai.

In a bid to lure French investors, the Phuket delegation will prepare information about investment opportunities in the Phuket tourism, real estate, restaurant and marina industries.

Bhuritt Maswongsa, vice president for marketing at the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA), said the delegation stands to learn a great deal from Nice, especially in regard to marina management.

Nice is a major yachting destination in the French Riviera and Phuket has similar ambitions in Thailand’s Andaman Coast region, he said.

Phuket maintains “sister city” status with a number of cities around the world: Nakhodka in Russia’s Far East; Yantai and Hainan in China; and Port Blair, India.

Although the two would seem to have little in common, Phuket City also maintains the sibling status with Las Vegas, Nevada.

Not all “sister city” overtures have come to fruition. Among the cities bruited as potential “sisters” for Phuket over the years have been Cape Town, South Africa and Hyogo, Japan.

In 2005, then-Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura reacted with indifference to an offer to link Phuket with Densapar, the capital of Bali, made by Indonesian Ambassador Ibrahim Yusuf during a courtesy call to the island. The perceived snub came just two months after the terrorist bombings that left 20 people dead at two sites in South Bali.

— S. Nongkaew & S. Fein

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