TOURIST ARRIVALS in the Philippines is expected to double as it plays host to Miss Universe 2016 pageant on January 30, 2027, the Department of Tourism said.
From only over five million tourist arrivals by the end of 2015, the Department of Tourism is expecting 10 million visitors by next year, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said in a press conference in Makati on June 28, just after she announced that the 65th edition of the pageant will be held here.
The Philippines last hosted Miss Universe 22 years ago in 1994 when Indian beauty Sushmita Sen was crowned. The news is a much-welcomed development for its Filipino fans whose bucket list includes watching the pageant live.
Despite earlier pronouncement from the newly-elected president Rodrigo Duterte saying the government won’t spend money for the pageant, Secretary Teo confirmed the event saying the Government is never to spend a dime but it is the private sector that will shoulder the expenses for mounting the pageant estimated at around P500 million.
Confirmed sponsors are Japanese casino mogul Kazuo Okada, and the richest man in the Philippines to date, Henry Sy, owner of SM investments and SM supermalls, among others.
This is the third time the world-renowned pageant participated in by over a hundred countries will be held in the country. The first was in 1974, a year after Filipina beauty Margie Moran was crowned Miss Universe in 1973. Next year, the reigning Filipina Miss Universe Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach will be crowning her successor. Wutzbach came all the way from New York last week to discuss with the president, and the tourism department its proposal to held the pageant here.
During the last six years, the Philippines has been consistently on top of the beauty competition, which showed the world how exceptionally beautiful and intelligent Filipinas are. It started with Venus Raj’s 4th runner-up finish in 2010, followed by Shamcey Supsup and Ariela Arida’s higher finish of 3rd place in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Janine Tugonon almost got the title when she ended with the 1st runner-up title in 2012. In 2014, Mary Jean Lastimosa placed in the Top 10 while Wurtzbach’s successfully bagged the crowned in 2015.
The recent pageant victories have not only showcased Pinay beauty and wit. These have also helped in boosting the country’s tourism, the stakeholders believe. As one of the top beauty pageants followed by millions around the world, Miss Universe has paved a way for the Philippines to be recognized globally. While the people who have visited the tourist spots here have started spreading nice words about them even long ago, beauty pageants like this have provided us even better international exposures.
By hosting Miss Universe, and with Wurtzbach’s never-ending promotion of her motherland both on her much-followed social media pages and on all her media appearances, there’s nowhere to go but for its tourism to boom, and achieve a significant heights.
Tourism Secretary Teo said in her previous statements they plan to hold other segments of the pageant outside Metro Manila. She particularly mentioned about staging some of them in Boracay, Cebu and Palawan. These three tourist island destinations in the Philippines are voted as the best islands in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2015. Palawan topped the list with Boracay on a close second, while Cebu is ranked number 6.
While pageant fanatics in the Philippines are happy with the idea of watching the most-loved pageant live, people from around the world could expect beautiful ladies posting their photos with picturesque Philippine destinations as their backdrop.
Photos from iweb.ph, missosology, wizardofwonders.photoshelter.com, thephilippines.com, travelguidephilippines.net, and powerhouseph.net.