Miss TQI Organizers Explain Goals to Recapture Pageant's Former Glory
Report and Article by Adi Perkasa / Edited and Published by Andre Sleigh
Avid pageant fans will still remember that the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant was once part of Global Beauties' Grand Slam of Pageant. Due to the pageant not being held consistently they lost their Grand Slam status. Since the untimely death of ERM President Alex Liu earlier this year, pageant of the fans have been wondering the direction ERM will take in the future. Under the warmth of the Thai sun in the perfect setting of the golden sands and blue water of Samed Islands, Global Beauties reporter at the pageant, Adi Perkasa, sat down with the Managing Director of Miss TQI, Angela Tay, and Sean Chia, President of Miss TQI, to chat to them about their pageant.
"Unfortunately, we did not retain our Grand Slam status, but we are now trying very hard to bring the pageant back to what it used to be," Angela explained. The organizers' efforts to ensure this event ran smoothly made a positive impression on everyone involved in it. What was noticeable throughout was their hard work to take care of the contestants and the media teams involved in the pageant this year.
Sean Chia explained more about the purpose and history of the pageant to us during our afternoon visit to Koh Samed. The main reason for the existence of Miss TQI is to encourage intercultural exchange between the contestants competing. Learning new things about, for example, the host country and the way their people live promotes a better understanding of that nation and it eventually filters back into the communities the contestants return to.
"That is why we not only have countries participating but also have granted permission for special tourism regions within countries, like Bali, Okinawa an Crimea in this year's competition and also some of our past editions," Mr Chia told Global Beauties. "Not everyone knows that Bali belongs to Indonesia, Okinawa to Japan or Crimea to Russia, but it's some of the best tourist destinations those countries have, so we allow them to compete to introduce them to the young women competing, the people they interact with during the time in the host country and the world through our live final. Our goal is to promote them as tourist destinations that are worth visiting."
One of Mr Chia's main goals is to stage the event annually again. "Our main purpose is to promote the tourism potential of the host country and this year the focus is on Thailand, especially Rayong." The organizers continued to explain that Rayong is a city in Thailand that has not yet been fully discovered by the world. The governments of Rayong and Thailand chose the Miss TQI 2018 Pageant to showcase Rayong's beauty to the world. Thailand has always been a top class international destination for tourists and the organizers hope to show the world that Thailand still has a lot to offer and is a world class destination for tourists and events. "The new Miss Tourism Queen International will become a an ambassador for Rayong and an ambassdor for Thailand. She will send a message to the world that will share her experiences and impressions of Thailand during her stay in Thailand," Mr. Chia further explained.
Not many people know that the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant has been in existence since 1949 and for the past 15 years, China has been playing host to the pageant when it was held. We spoke to Anu Namshir, Miss Tourism Queen International 2016, who had to open the notes on her phone to remember all the places she visited during reign. Among the places she visited were Beijing, Sanya, Hangzhou, Hoh Hot, Inner Mongolia, Sunit, Whengzhou, Qingdao, Chongqing,Lenwinggang, Haicheng, Shenyang, Ningbo, Pingtan, Nanchong, Nanjing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. She also visited Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore.
As the outgoing title holder, Ms. Namshir shared a special message to the contestant of Miss Tourism Queen International and all women out there. "Never give up on your dreams" she said. "Before winning Miss Tourism Queen International, I represented my country in 4 pageants and I came so close by finishing as the runner-up twice before winning Miss TQI 2016."
As the 2018 contest is about to conclude tonight, we also reflect on our time in Amazing Thailand.
Apart from visiting tourist destinations in Bangkok and Rayong, we must also mention that the quality of hotels, food and hospitality were top notch. The Miss TQI 2018 always had plenty of water to drink, they snacked on caramel popcorn throughout and received gifts, like skin scare products, from the sponsors.
The contestants and the team always felt safe where ever they went as they had their own police escort traveling with them. Also, the team were guarded by the Thai Army and had a first aid team or doctor at every location. In Rayong, the gala dinner was attended by the Governor of Rayong and the who's who of the local society, who placed generous bids on the national gifts the delegates brought with them. South Africa got the highest bid of the night (Baht 5,000) with the decorated ostrich egg she brought from her country.
Global Beauties also had the honor of meeting the incredible woman behind it all. She is Pawina Bamrungrot, the Chairwoman of the Miss TQI 2018 Organizing Committee, President of ERM Thailand and also the President of Miss Aura International Ltd. Ms. Bamrungrot is no stranger to pageants as she was Miss TQI Thailand 2004 and represented her country at the international final in China. Not only does her previous participation give her a clear understanding of what it is like to compete in a pageant, but it also gives her a great passion for the industry. [picture 4]
Ms. Bamrungrot also shared with us that having police and army escorts proves Thailand's ability to keep their tourists safe and it also reflects their desire to promote Thailand as a safe destination for people who visit the country. She mentioned that they organization received incredible support from their sponsors and the local government. In Rayong, there was an initiative to highlight sustainable tourism through a beach clean up. She also wished to thank the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Royal Army Band, who provided a venue for rehearsals and transport for all the contestants and the media.
"We prepared a very special event to really look for a girl who not only has a beautiful appearance but also a wonderful personality. Miss TQI 2018 should be aware of the importance of tourism to Thailand and other countries. She should also understand the need for countries to focus on sustainable tourism." Ms. Bamrungrot concluded. The Thai Organizing Committee also mentioned that they are looking forward to working closely with their sponsors and their partners to find meaningful roles, such as tourism ambassadors, news readers and television roles, for the winner and as many other contestants as possible.
The new Miss Tourism Queen International will be crowned tonight. The pageant will start at 6pm, Bangkok time, and can be seen on television in Thailand and a livestream for international viewers.