By Marc Averette (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons The concept of twin towns or sister cities dates back to 1947 and represents a form of social agreement between towns or cities in geographically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The idea emerged post-WWII as a way of fostering friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation. It was also intended to increase trade and tourism. At the end of January 2017, Marbella and Miami in Florida, USA, became brand new sister cities. Representatives from Marbella’s town hall and Miami officials signed the document to twin the two cities, which share so much in common: year round sunshine, beautiful beaches and a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. Plus, both are highly popular tourism destinations for Europeans and people from all parts of the globe. Marbella believes that this collaboration will make it a ‘must visit’ city for wealthy tourists from the Miami area, who usually start a European tour in Madrid, Paris or London, but will hopefully now also add Marbella to their travel itinerary before heading home, thanks to the promotion of Marbella to Miami residents. Javier Porcuna, the councillor responsible for Marbella tourism, announced the twinning at Fitur, the international tourism fair held in Madrid from 18-22 January. He said “Miami opens a new door for us to capitalise on a market of people with a high economic capacity and for whom transatlantic travel is not an obstacle.” Part of the strategy to attract Miami’s wealthiest residents includes identifying the attractions the two cities have in common, such as golf, beaches and great weather. However, the councillor also stressed that increasing tourism was not the only goal, there is also a commercial purpose, which the town hall has been working on since 2016. Sr. Porcuna explained: “We have already been in touch with local Marbella entrepreneurs to organise a commercial mission and they visited Miami last year along with a town hall representative. Once everything is ready, there will be an official visit.” It is a perfect twinning since Marbella and Miami have so many features and attractions in common. We also hope that once the Miami visitors have enjoyed a warm Marbella welcome they’ll fall in love with its stunning holiday properties and enjoy longer stays in the ‘Old World’.