Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika met with beauty queens and an international event organizer on Wednesday as the island geared up to host the Miss World pageant next year.
Julia Morley, chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, told reporters that Bali would host the competition in September 2013 and that 131 national beauty pageant winners had confirmed their attendance.
Pastika said the province was prepared to host the event, which he hoped would draw international attention to the island.
“We’re ready, but we’re continuing to work on improving infrastructure and security for the competition,” he added.
Joining Pastika in the meeting was Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela, who won the Miss World pageant last year, as well as Miss Indonesia Astrid Ellena Indriana Yunadi, who made it to the top 15 in the pageant and took home a joint award in the category of “beauty with a purpose.”
Morley said Bali was chosen for the pageant because of its culture and global popularity.
Hotel in Bali
“I feel better when I’m here and surrounded by such friendly people,” she said. “Next year, I want to stay longer.”
Bali hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit last year and will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November 2013.
Pastika added that after the filming of “Eat Pray Love,” starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in Bali, the island had a new nickname, the “Island of Love.”