Miss Asia Global 2022 and how beauty pageants can bring tourism to Penang
The recently wrapped Miss Asia Global 2022 , is just another example of the kinds of events that can drive tourism in the pandemic recovery era
BEAUTY pageants are considered a sure-fire ways to entice tourists to come over, according to the Miss Asia – Global Malaysia communications director Alice Lee. It should not be seen as indecent or cheap publicity stunt, as plenty of effort from training, preparation and other costs go towards hosting and promoting one of these events, said Lee.
She was lending support to Penang’s wish to become a top regional destination for beauty pageants, following the success of hosting the Miss Asia Global here over the past two weeks.
Lee said that the state exco member for tourism Yeoh Soon Hin, was pleased with the public relations plaudits from hosting such a glittering event.
“The value in public relations is in the millions. Each pageant has its following and each contestant will bring her families, friends and associates with them. When they return to their native countries, they will speak about the host country. In this case it is Penang.”
Speaking to The Vibes, Lee said that after the pandemic, there was a need to promote touristy destinations with more vigour, as people were generally afraid of socially interacting outside with a virus lurking in the background.
“Events such as pageants may bring up the value in tourism.”
The pageant saw its fair share of controversy when Miss Taiwan Kao Man Jung, aged 25, was disallowed from going on the catwalk during a performance at the World Congress for Innovation and Technology (WCIT), in the Setia SPICE convention centre last week.
It was because the WCIT organisers felt compelled to follow the One China policy which the Malaysian government had ratified.
Around 40 contestants from around the world took part in the pageant.
Kao broke down in tears, but she picked herself up with determination and strode back to her home with three consolation prizes during the grand finals. The lanky Kao went home with the Miss Talent, Miss Diligent and Miss Online Personality subsidiary titles, much to the delight of her fellow competitors.
The top title went to a neighbour: Warapon Mae Yarbrough from Thailand, aged 18, who was crowned Miss Asia Global at a glitzy coronation night event.
Reigning title holder Sara Damnjanovic, from Serbia, crowned her successor.
Meanwhile, Angelica Lopez from the Philippines took the first runner-up spot, and Miss Estonia Lisa Shefer was the second runner-up.
Former beauty queen Arianna Teoh headlined the panel of judges, while the celebrity emcees consisted of former journalist Carolyn Ooi and comedian Douglas Lim.
Lopez, who wooed the audience with her sharp take on how she would promote Penang as a tourist destination, also won the subsidiary title of Miss Ramp Walk.
Miss Canada Christina Harb and Miss Ukraine Anna Avedenko came at the fourth and fifth place, respectively.
The state government was a co-organiser, with URKlinik as its main sponsor.
Earlier, Yeoh spoke about how such events can bring the world to Penang.
“Pageants are more than just a competition. It celebrates unity and diversity. Realistically, such pageants also test the hosts’ organising capabilities in terms of planning, arrangement and marketing. It is therefore good for Penang to be the host city for the Miss Asia Global 2022. When we welcome with our arms the representatives from different continents, it is an unforgettable experience.
“As they compete to return home with the highly-coveted crown, these ladies will also indulge in Penang’s complete tourism package,” said Yeoh.
The contestants also paraded in kebaya outfits and performed Malay traditional dances, while swimsuits were missing in action out of respect for the typically conservative outlook of Malaysian society.
They also visited the various attractions and made an appearance at the state police contingent headquarters, where they were briefed by state police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain on the operations of the force here.
Dr Ajit Ravi of House of Pegasus owns and licenses the pageant.
Lee said that for next year, she hopes to bring in more beauty-related events to Penang as part of efforts to promote tourism.
– The Vibes, September 22, 2022
Listed below are the subsidiary title winners.
Miss Talent • Chinese Taipei
Miss Congeniality • France
Miss Fashionista • Vietnam
Miss Ramp Walk • Philippines
Miss Diligent • Chinese Taipei
Miss Solidarity • Georgia
Miss Sensational • Montenegro
Miss Inspiring • India
Miss Personality • Slovakia
Miss Photogenic • Poland
Miss Elegance • Thailand
Miss Online Personality • Chinese Taipei
Miss Empowerment • Finland
Miss Truest Beauty • Estonia
Miss Asia • Korea
Miss Africa • South Africa
Miss Europe • Finland
Miss North America • Canada
Miss South America • Colombia
Miss Oceania • Australia