The Miss Universe pageant is heading back to Thailand for the third time, in a spectacular event in Bangkok that is expected to give a multi-million baht boost to the country’s tourism industry.
Paula Mary Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organisation, confirmed at a press conference in Bangkok yesterday that the pageant will be held in Thailand again, on December 17.
Last year, the contest was held in Las Vegas in the US and in 2016 it was held in the Philippines.
“Sawasdi kha [good afternoon],” Shagart greeted the audience in Thai. “I’d like to thank the Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat and the Thai government for allowing the Miss Universe Organisation to host the pageant contest in Thailand again.
“The Miss Universe [contest] has come here every 13 years. Thailand hosted the contest twice – in 1992 and 2005. Thirteen is a lucky number,” Shugart said at the press conference at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).
Shugart also thanked Tanawat Wansom of TW Investment Group who has sole proprietorship of the 67th competition.
Supported by the Tourism Ministry, the contest helps promote the Kingdom and is expected to earn millions of baht during the country’s tourism high season.
Weerasak said, “It’s a great opportunity for Thailand to host Miss Universe 2018. During the one-month contest, over 6,000 people, including beauty queens from around the globe and their crews and army of media, will be in Thailand.
“It’s a great opportunity to promote Thai culture and its beautiful destinations, especially to boost the economy of the secondary cities. We will support cultural and tourism facilities for this special event.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said after the weekly Cabinet meeting that the government was glad that the organisation chose Thailand to host the contest again and it will help promote a positive image of the Kingdom.
Shugart said pageant queens from across the globe will be in Thailand in early November for pre-contest activities.
“In December, about 90 contestants from all over the world will spread global messages about Thailand. All will be the ambassadors for Thailand,” she said.
She said that the event is about women coming together and doing their best to support each other. Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, the former Miss Universe 1965 Apasra Hongsakula and Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova were also present at the announcement.
Thailand has also produced two winners – Apasra Hongsakula in 1965 and Porntip Nakhirunkanok (Bui Simon) in 1988. Thailand’s representative Sophida Kanchanarin will vie for the country’s third crown.