Tourism secretary: Visit of Miss Universe winners to promote country's tourism

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — A government official on Monday said the upcoming visit of Miss Universe titleholders and candidates will boost tourism in the country.

"When the Miss Universe Organization reached out to us to bring in the girls, we have specifically requested to bring in the candidates from our emerging destinations such as Russia, Netherlands, India, Italy, Spain, and Canada and contestants from our key market such as the United States, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Great Britain, and Singapore," Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said.

She said it's a strategic move of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to choose specific candidates to market the Philippines as a destination for foreign visitors.

The Miss Universe Organization announced on Sunday that Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere will attend the DOT's "Women of Significance" gala night and headline a fashion show in Pasay City on Saturday.

The beauty queens will arrive on Tuesday, and tour Intramuros and Rizal Park on Wednesday.

They will then pay a courtesy visit to President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday.

The following day, the Miss Universe titleholders will visit different tourist sites nationwide. Nel-Peters will visit Batanes, Mittenaere will go to Camiguin, and the others will be in Bohol.

 "It will definitely promote the country considering that the ladies have a huge social media following," Teo said.

DOT said the country's successful hosting of the Miss Universe 2016 in January contributed to the 11 percent increase in tourist arrivals from January to August 2017.