WHEN Miss Tourism International beauty pageant was first held in 1994, only 23 countries participated.
This year, delegates representing 50 countries will be taking part in Miss Tourism International 2017, the 20th edition of the pageant.
This growth is set to continue as pageant founder and president Tan Sri Danny has promised to raise the participation to 80 countries in time for Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
“Every year, we intend to increase the number of delegates by 10. This year, we have 50 delegates, next year we will have 60,” he said.
“We must bring people here to see the country. Bringing the women here physically to see the sights of Malaysia is the most important thing. They can see these places in pictures, but when they are here, Malaysia tells its own story,” he said.
The Miss Tourism International 2017 World Final will be held from Nov 20 to Dec 7, with the crowning night on Dec 6 at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa in Petaling Jaya.
Ooi said the crowning night would feature our national costumes, including batik, and also a lot of talent.
The pageant will see delegates travelling to various parts of the country, such as Malacca and Langkawi. They will also make appearances in shopping centres such as Nu Sentral, KL Sogo Mall, and Sunway Pyramid Mall.
Ooi said most of the delegates visited Malaysia for the first time when they joined the pageant.
“I believe each year the women take back fond memories. Malaysia has much to offer, in terms of food, places to visit and the variety of cultures,” he said.
Ooi is confident that the Tourism and Culture Ministry and Tourism Malaysia are happy to use the pageant as a way to promote Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
Melissa Ng, the Miss Tourism International delegate representing Malaysia, said to see 50 countries coming together for the pageant was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” and thats she was proud to be representing multi-ethnic Malaysia.
“You are exposed to different ways of living, different languages, religions, architecture and art,” she said, adding that the Malaysia, Truly Asia campaign brings out the best aspects of the country.
Platinum sponsor for the pageant is Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa.
Gold sponsors include Sunway Malls, Secret Recipe, Beverly Wilshire Dental Centre, Limkokwing University, Carlo Rino, Sogo Mall, Whoosh Eyewear, Gintell, Royal Scent and Hot Gadgets, who distributes JBL electronic items.
Source : The Star Online