“I was planning to have 70 contestants from 70 countries wear traditional Phuket costumes in the introduction round to promote the province’s culture and craftsmanship to global viewers,” Miss Grand International president Nawat Itsaragrisil said.
“It’s a shame that this activity must be cancelled because we are not allowed to use the venue. It would have been a great PR opportunity to attract more visitors to the province’s sandbox scheme.”
Nawat said he was fighting resistance from locals and authorities who were against the plan to hold the 2021 Miss Grand International beauty pageant in different venues of Phuket from November 16.
A sign reading “we Phuket people do not want the ‘three hooves’ beauty pageant” was recently put up in the province, sparking widespread criticism on social media. It is believed that the “three hooves” refers to the “Hunger Games” inspired three-finger salute used by pro-democracy protesters. Nawat is an open supporter of the movement.
Earlier this week Somyot Pathan, a vice president of the Old Phuket Town community, said the community’s tourism committee had denied Miss Grand International the right to hold any pageant activities there. He added that the decision was not based on a conflict but came from a consensus.
“We will go ahead with organising beauty pageant activities in other areas of Phuket as we have already bought the plane tickets and paid deposits for the reservation of venues,” Nawat said. “However, all press invitations to Phuket events have had to be cancelled due to venue limitations, which we apologise for deeply. We hope to see you in the final round in December to be held in Bangkok.”
Published : October 23, 2021
By : THE NATION