Miss Myanmar goes double as tourism rises

By Yu Yu Maw and Nuam Bawi
Volume 31, No. 613
February 6 - 12, 2012

Miss Tourism 2011, Khin Yu Pa, accepts her award.
Pic: LMM

THINK you’ve got what it takes to be a national tourism ambassador? This year offers two chances as Myanmar Tourism Board (MTB), organisers of the Miss Myanmar 2012 pageant, and the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) are both giving contestants the chance to represent the country.

UMTA will hold their Miss Tourism 2012 on March 2 at the National Theatre, while MTB have started accepting entries for their March 25 competition to be held at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon.

“We would like to invite people from all over the country to participate in this contest,” said U Khin Maung Yin, vice chairman of Myanmar Tourism Board (MTB).

However, organisers of the Miss Myanmar pageant have also announced strict entry criteria: applicants must be aged 18 to 25, at least five feet, four inches (162 centimetres) tall and some knowledge about the tourism industry. The contest will feature three stages, with participants donning traditional, sports and evening wear.

“They can participate even if they don’t have experience,” said U Lin Htein, managing director of Myanmar Tourism Service, which is co-hosting the event with the Talent and Model agency.

“The winner will become an ambassador for MTB and will have to attend international tourism expos. The main objective of this contest are promotion our country and let everyone around the world know about our country’s beauty,” he said.

MTB will also give the winner K3 million, while the first and second runners up will receive K1.5 million and K1 million respectively.

U Lin Htein said the ceremony would also feature dance shows, performances from famous singers, a lucky draw and other activities.

Entry forms can be purchased for K10,000 from Myanmar Tourism Services (Room 1010, Yuzana Tower, corner of Shwegonedaing and Kabar Aye Pagoda roads, Bahan township) or the MTB (No 3/A, Waizayandar and Thanthutmar roads, Thingangyun township) from January 23.

Application forms will also be available at locations outside Yangon at a later date, U Htein Lin said.

Similarly, U Naung Naung Han, a UMTA executive, told reporters at a press conference held at Chatrium Hotel on January 31 that they will be looking to support contestants in their bid to become this year’s Miss Tourism.

“We started organising this competition since 2010 … but as this year our country is getting more attention from tourists from around the world we wanted to upgrade compared to the last two years,” he said.

“We will offer a trip to Bagan and some filming programs for the 20 shortlisted contestants. We will also provide lectures on tourism which will help them answer questions at the final competition,” he added.

U Naung Naung Han also stated that basic knowledge about tourism and English proficiency are required to enter the competition.

“As we will use them as an ambassador they will have to go abroad and promote our country so they will have to use English language to communicate with foreigners,” he said.

Last year’s Miss Tourism, Khin Yu Pa, said the award was very important for her as it wasn’t just representing a product.

“Not only did I get the chance to visit countries I wanted to visit, but I’m also representing our country,” she said.

UMTA is offering K1.5 million for the winner of the Miss Tourism 2012, K1 million for the runner up and K500,000 for third place.

Application forms are available from February 1-13 at the Union of Myanmar Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) for K3000 each.