“Miss Belgium 2011 – Finalists (from www.missbelgie.be)”
Sixteen contestants in the Miss Belgium 2011 Beauty Contest are to re-visit Thailand, (Phuket) Khao Lak, and Phang Nga during 22-29 November, 2010, as part of efforts by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to generate publicity and attract more visitors from Belgium and other countries of the European Union.
The TAT Paris office together with BEST Tours, a major Belgian tour operator, won the support of the organizer of the annual beauty pageant to select Phang Nga as the backdrop destination for the various fashion and other film-shoots featured in the widely-watched TV event.
The contestants, along with organizers and accompanying media members, will travel to Phuket by XL Airways, a charter flight operating from Brussels to Phuket.
Belgium is one the major sources of visitors from Europe. In 2009, the arrivals from Belgium totalled 80,376 up 5.57% over 2008. In January – September 2010, Belgian visitor arrivals to Thailand at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport totalled 56,813, up 1.36% over the same period of 2009.
In November 2009, the TAT Paris Office agreed to sponsor the Miss Belgium 2010 Pageant, using Phuket as a backdrop destination. Upon visiting Thailand earlier this year, the contestants, event organizers, and accompanying members of the Belgian media were so impressed by the warm hospitality of the Thai people, beautiful tourist attractions, and professionalism of the Thai support staff that the management team of the Miss Belgium 2011 Contest again chose Thailand as a backdrop destination.
This year, TAT will organise both beach and ecotourism activities; such as, visiting the Similan Islands, Phang Nga National Park, and Phi Phi Island. The contestants will also be filmed participating in some activities like rafting, canoeing, etc.
On 18 October, 2010, Mr Pisal Manwapat, Thai Ambassador to Brussels, together with the Director of the TAT Paris Office, Mrs Pattaraporn Sithivanich and Mrs Darline Devos, Chairwoman of Miss Belgium Contest attended the press conference of the Miss Belgium 2011, organized by the Miss Belgique 2011 Company in Dworp city.
The event was attended by over 300 participants, including media, politicians, designers, movie stars, and executives from major sponsors of Miss Belgium 2011. A fashion show by the Miss Belgium 2011 contestants saw them on the cat-walk carrying traditional North Thailand umbrellas, followed by a Thai classical dance with the theme of the Loi Krathong Festival, which was widely covered by hundreds of media.
Thailand, particularly Phang Nga, will get widespread media coverage via the Miss Belgium 2011 Pageant for at least 1-2 months before and after the finals. The Pageant is expected to be promoted and broadcast by TV Channel Club RTL and RTL TVI in French and VT4 Station in Flemish.
The final round of the Pageant will be held in Knokke town, a major beach attraction in Belgium. On 9 January, 2011, it will be broadcast on VT4 Channel and RTL Channel during the prime time 20.10 – 23.30 hrs with a projected viewership of over 1 million in Belgium, Luxemburg, north of France, and surrounding countries.
Mrs Pattaraporn said, “The repeat visit by the Belgium 2011 contestants will generate publicity of Thailand’s good image and attract more visitors from Belgium and those countries of the European Union which use French and Dutch as their official languages. It will also encourage women and youth, the jet-set group, honeymooners, and family travellers to visit Thailand.”
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
Web site: www.tatnews.org
Videos about their last visit to Phuket: