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Port Blair, Phuket in tourism pact

July 26, 2005 11:12 IST
In a unique arrangement the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands has joined hands with Thailand's beach resort of Phuket to promote tourism, trade and commerce in the two popular tourist destinations.

A memorandum and understanding has been signed between Port Blair city and the Phuket province to work together to promote tourism and trade between them, Andaman and Nicobar Lieutenant Governor Prof Ram Kapse told PTI on Tuesday.

The MoU had been signed on June 29 when Prof Kapse had led a high-level delegation to Phuket.

"An understanding has been reached to help each other promote tourism and trade because we are very close to each other," Prof Kapse said adding, "It takes only 45 minutes by air to reach Phuket from here."

In fact despite being a part of India, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are more than 1,000 kms away from the Indian mainland but are much closer to Thailand and Indonesia.

Prof Kapse also said Phuket is one of the world's most preferred tourist destinations and hence Port Blair being close to it can gain from it in promoting itself as a major international tourist destination.

"There is definitely very high prospect of promoting tourism under this arrangement", he said.  The MoU has been signed between Port Blair Municipal Corporation and Phuket Province under which the two can be referred to as the 'twin cities' now.

Prof Kapse said that the discussions between two cities has been going on for more than two years for such an arrangement and a number of visits had been exchanged during this period culminating in the MoU.

Delegation from Phuket had also visited Port Blair in the past after which the details of the areas of co-operation was worked out, he said.

Incidentally both Port Blair and Phuket had suffered extensive damages due to tsunami on December 26 last year and now the two cities have joined hands to promote each other.

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