IN what the Department of Tourism promises to be a most memorable and beautiful pageant, Miss Universe 2016 contestants will visit Cebu and Boracay, iconic Vigan, romantic Baguio, and the vast greenery of Davao City, the DoT said on Friday.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the Miss Universe organizing committee is considering other localities as venues of the pre-pageant events leading to the coronation night on January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“We are working closely with our private partners to ensure a total tourism experience for our special guests throughout their two-week stay. Let’s show the Philippines’ best-kept secrets,” Teo said.
Teo made the assertion, following the formal signing of memorandum of agreement between the DoT, the Miss Universe organization and the pageant’s private partners, led by Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, Wednesday night at Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.
Singson lauded the private partners and sponsors, as well as the DoT for their determination in hosting the Miss Universe pageant in the country, the first since 1994.
Referring to reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, Singson said, “We find no better tribute to finishing your reign and passing the crown to your successor than right here in your home country.”
In addition to the Singson group, the pageant’s other private partners are Okada Manila, Solar Entertainment Inc. and the SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc., while sponsors include the San Miguel Corp., Jpark Island Resort and Waterworld of Cebu and the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio City.
More private sponsors at the regional level are being considered, Singson said.
“This partnership between the private and public sectors in a venture as big as Miss Universe is certainly a big step for the country’s tourism towards the global stage,” said Undersecretary Kat de Castro, of DoT’s Public Affairs and Communications.
“We are thankful that the Miss Universe will finally return to its second home, to the Philippines. Now we can showcase the awesome beauty of the country in its entirety and our people, of course,” De Castro added.
De Castro expressed optimism that the country’s hosting of the pageant will pay off in terms of visitor arrivals.
“I’m sure we are getting off to a good start in 2017 in meeting our quota and our targets next year with the staging of the spectacular, unforgettable Miss Universe event. Everybody is excited and everywhere I go people are asking if there is a package tour for this Miss Universe pageant. Some of the fanatics… they want to fly to the Philippines and attend all the events leading to the final show,” De Castro exclaimed.