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Miss Universe bets from Muslim countries undergo wellness training, promote PH tourism

October 24 ------ Visiting beauty queens from Bahrain, Pakistan and Egypt have been kept quite busy as soon as they arrived in the country to train for the Miss Universe 2023 pageant.

In between training for the global pageant, the social calendar of Miss Universe 2023 candidates Lujane Yacoub of Bahrain, Erica Robin of Pakistan, and Mohra Tantawy of Egypt were also full with various activities that take them to some places in the country. They were brought to Manila by Josh Yugen, who is the national director of the Miss Universe Bahrain, Miss Universe Egypt, and Miss Universe Pakistan organizations. A full Filipino team is preparing them for the Miss Universe competition. Among the activities they attended were the ABS-CBN ball earlier this month where they were among the special guests, and more recently, they joined the Department of Tourism (DOT) as they promote halal and wellness travel in the country, following the country’s coup as the Emerging Muslim-Friendly Destination Award earlier this year.

In support of the government’s campaign, the three beauty queens were tapped as endorsers of the DOT, which partnered with an eco-luxury wellness resort to attract wellness enthusiasts and boost halal tourism from other countries. With the Muslim travel market forecast to reach $225 billion by 2028, the Philippine government announced that boosting foreign arrivals from the Middle East and Muslim-majority nations was among its priority goals. “The Miss Universe’s trip to the Philippines would be a big boost for our country that would hopefully influence the global Muslim community to visit the archipelago nation, which is home to white sand beaches, famous diving spots, lively entertainment, diverse cultural heritage and distinctive wildlife,” says Tourism Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar.

The beauty queens were pampered to a “Filipino brand of wellness” with Filipino therapists using the farm-to-skin concept, making use of locally sourced medicinal herbs for their spa treatments. Afterwards, they were treated to a halal-certified meal meticulously prepared as a wellness cuisine. “We are extremely grateful to the Philippine Department of Tourism and The Farm at San Benito for this wonderful opportunity to promote my country to the Arab, Middle East and Muslim countries. As someone who has lived in Dubai for more than half of my life, I sincerely believe that it is high time to elevate our Filipino welcome to the Middle East, and focus on the key factors attracting travelers to visit, such as providing options for halal certified establishments and world-class wellness programs,” said Yugen.



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