Newly elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved in principle Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo’s proposal to host the forthcoming Miss Universe pageant in Manila.
”The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup with Philippines’ Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach at the helm,” Teo disclosed during a meeting with tourism leaders.
Teo said Wurtzbach, the reigning Miss Universe, returned to the country and call on Duterte even as she assured that commercial sponsors have offered to put up part of the franchise money.
“Sponsoring Miss Universe is our focus right now, with the plan and sources of funding in tow. We are ready to seize the moment,” Teo said.
The official hatched the plan to host Miss Universe 2016 as soon as she took over the Department of Tourism in early July, saying it would definitely have a greater impact than any other event.
“Once Pia announces that Miss Universe is going to happen here, people abroad will start looking at the map and see where the Philippines is. And, we’re saying, we’d love to have you in Philippines,” Teo added.
According to Teo, segments of the month-long beauty pageant will be in various tourist sites in Palawan, Boracay and Cebu, which topped the World’s Best Islands 2016 awards by the Travel & Leisure magazine.
During the dialog with industry leaders, she tackled issues on tourism security, infrastructure, transportation and hotel accommodations.
The official assured, however, that other major tourism events, such as the Madrid Fusion Manila culinary event will be up for review but will continue to enjoy DOT’s full support.
“Definitely, our food festivals should be well-promoted abroad,” Teo stressed.