Viet Nam has beaten stiff competition from Japan, Spain, China, the United Arab Emirates and Russia to host the finals of the 2008 Miss Universe contest. Will the country seize this golden opportunity to advertise itself across the globe?
Vu Tuan Canh, the number two man at the Viet Nam Administration of Tourism, thinks it will and believes the beauty pageant will boost tourist numbers and boost Viet Nam’s economy.
Doan Thi Kim Hong, chairwoman of the event’s promoter, the Advertising & Trade Fair Joint Stock Company (CIAT), understandably agrees. “In the month the contest takes place, we will welcome from 8,000 to 10,000 international visitors, including the 200 or so contestants from all over the world,” she said.
The Miss Universe pageant has been around since the 1950s and is one of the most prestigious beauty contests in the world today. Because of the advertising and merchandising associated with the widely televised event, the competition to host it is always fierce.
What’s more, the television broadcast includes at least nine minutes solely about the host nation and its customs, culture, history and scenery. In the run-up to the final, Viet Nam will run an eight-minute segment on the American channel NBC.
Besides, the televised final will be ideal for showing off Viet Nam’s artists and performers.
The government of Khanh Hoa province, where the pageant will take place, the Vinpearl resort and CIAT are all busy preparing for the event.
Khanh Hoa’s political leaders and the commercial sponsors will soon discuss what needs doing prior to building a 7,500-seat arena in the next eight months.
Vinpearl has around 500 luxury guest rooms, while the organizers require only 350. The number of standard rooms required is 4,400 while Nha Trang has 10,000 rooms rated two-star or higher.
Besides funding the basic infrastructure, Vietnam will have to spend at least US$15 million on the event, around half for the Miss Universe 2008 copyright. Several Vietnamese and foreign companies have already expressed an intention to provide sponsorship.