The hotelier, who is now the franchise holder for the local leg of the international beauty pageant, says he is looking to bring the competition to Jamaica’s shores in 2013.
“My passion is to place Jamaica at the forefront of the tourism market in this side of the world, and having such an event in Jamaica would greatly assist our efforts here,” Kosvogianis told those gathered at the unveiling of the 17 finalists vying for the coveted crown.
He says he has put forward the proposal to the principals of Miss Universe organisation based in New York, whom he notes are very keen on hosting the pageant in Jamaica.
“No discussions have begun just yet as they are presently engaged in wrapping up the plans for this year’s event in South Africa. But once this is concluded, I look forward to engaging them in negotiations,” Kosvogianis told the Observer.
He is not daunted by the approximately US$5 million-budget required to stage the pageant, as he thinks this can be raised easily through both public and private sector sponsorship.
“The Jamaica Tourist Board spends just under half of this figure on advertising in the European markets, and when one considers the reach of the Miss Universe pageant, this would be money well spent.”
On Saturday night the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston was the venue for the unveiling contestants in this year’s pageant, one of whom will have the opportunity to represent Jamaica at the 61st staging of Miss Universe, to be held in South Africa in December of this year.
The local pageant will climax on a date in June to be decided. This is a switch from the original May 12 coronation show. Kosvogianis explains that the shift is to accommodate some of the younger contestants who have educational obligations.
The audience was also advised that in addition to a new franchise holder the name of the local pageant is now being referred to as the Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ), as opposed to the Miss Jamaica Universe, following a directive by the international pageant.