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Philippines eyes hosting of Miss U pageant

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism is set to negotiate with the organizers of Miss Universe after getting the approval of President Duterte for the Philippines to host the pageant next year.

“The President agreed that sponsoring the event would be a tourism marketing coup with the Philippines’ Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach at the helm,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo said.

“Sponsoring Miss Universe is our focus right now, with the plan and sources of funding in tow.”       

In a text message to The STAR, Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro said the DOT will be in talks with Miss Universe president Paula Shugart and her team, who are arriving this weekend.

“We will still negotiate for the exact figure. Should it push through, the event will be sponsored by the private sector,” she said.

“Miss Universe Org did assure us that the franchise fee will be much less that what they had in Russia and Brazil.”

Wurtzbach is due to return to the country to make a courtesy call on Duterte this weekend.

Teo said once Wurtzbach announces that Miss Universe is going to be held in the Philippines, people abroad will start looking at the map to see where the Philippines is located.

“We will be broadcasted all over the world; we expect more tourists to come to the Philippines and that’s the benefit that we will get,” she said.

The hosting was Teo’s pitch upon her takeover as the new tourism secretary.

She said it was the Miss Universe team that actually offered it to the country.

“They offered it to us because of Pia,” she said.

“There were a lot of bidders but it was offered to us by the organizers.” 

Once agreements are settled, segments of the month-long beauty pageant will be filmed in various tourist sites in Palawan, Boracay and Cebu – which topped the World’s Best Islands 2016 awards by New York-based Travel & Leisure magazine.

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