There is an “80 percent chance” that the Philippines will host the next edition of the Miss Universe pageant, where the reigning queen, Pia Wurtzbach will crown her successor, a tourism official said Saturday.
Miss Universe Organization Paula Shugart will arrive in Manila on Sunday for a meeting with Department of Tourism officials, on the eve of Wurtzbach’s courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Undersecretary Katherine de Castro said.
A crucial issue will be the timing of the pageant. De Castro said that Shugart is pushing for January while local officials want to hold it in May to give way to the country’s many summer festivals. Also, it would cost $12 million “to stage the entire event” and various private sponsors have pledged their support.
“Monday, when Pia Wurtzbach does her courtesy call, nakalatag na,” De Castro said. Asked about the chances of the Philippines hosting the pageant, she said: “Nasa 80 percent.”
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved in principle the proposal of newly-appointed Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Wanda Teo to have the Philippines host the next Miss Universe pageant.
Teo, in a statement released Thursday, said that the President has agreed with her plans to bring back the global event to the country, which she said will greatly benefit the local tourism industry.
The Philippines last hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1994.
According to Teo, segments of the month-long beauty pageant will be held in Palawan, Boracay and Cebu in an effort to showcase to the world not just Manila, but other tourist spots as well.