“We presented the city’s capacity as a sports training and events destination, as well as our obvious shared tourism appeal,” Mayor Tate said.
“I’ve presented the idea of encouraging a direct flight link, from either Phuket or Bangkok, to the Gold Coast. The feedback was positive and I’ve now left it with Paul Donovan to progress.”
Mr Donovan is chair of the tourism marketing organisation Destination Gold Coast.
Minister Weerasak agreed that a direct air link would boost outbound tourism for both destinations, reported the Gold Coast Council on its website.
Mr Donovan said a carrier such as Thai Air Asia was a perfect fit given its modern fleet and capacity to offer competitive fares.
“I hope Paul’s dual role with both Gold Coast Airport and Destination Gold Coast will help us secure a direct air link,” he said.
The move comes hot on the heels of led by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate visiting Phuket on Monday (Sept 10) to sign an agreement to start work on a formal Sister Cities relationship between the Gold Coast and Phuket. (See story here.)
Mayor Tate said the Gold Coast could offer Phuket knowledge in lifeguard services, beach rubbish collection, sports training, sports event management and tourism marketing.
Mr Donovan accompanied Mayor Tate to visits with Phuket Tourism Board and the Vice Governor of Phuket, Prakob Wongmaneerung, as well as the Thai Sport and Tourism Minister Mr Weerasak.
Other representatives present at the meetings were the Thai-Australia Business Council, Thai Sports Authority and key universities based in Phuket.