NEW ORLEANS — About 90 women from 67 countries around the globe will take on the runway at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to fight for the role of Miss Universe on January 14, 2023.
Earlier this month, the organization announced the pageant had been postponed to avoid conflict with the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.
The City of New Orleans announced Monday it will be hosting the highly-anticipated event for the first time in history. “Hosting the 71st annual Miss Universe pageant is a rare, prestigious opportunity to positively showcase New Orleans to a global viewing audience in 165 countries and territories,” said Walt Leger III, Executive Vice President and incoming CEO of New Orleans & Company.
New Orleans had been on the top of the organization’s list to host the prestigious pageant for a while now, according to the president of the Miss Universe Organization, Paula Shugart. She said the city’s unique arts, entertainment, and culinary scene sealed the deal.
In a statement on Monday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell says it is an honor to host the 71st Miss Universe Competition, since the city and the Miss Universe Organization “share common values of celebrating inclusion, culture and the empowerment of women.” The mayor says she hopes this opportunity will “show people around the globe why New Orleans is the best in the world at executing major events, festivals, conferences and conventions with a culture that is absolutely unmatched.”
The area will likely see a major boost in tourism for the event, with contestants, fans, celebrities, journalists, and influencers expected to flock to the Big Easy for the world-renowned pageant.
The 71st Miss Universe Pageant will introduce its first contestant representing the country of Bhutan, and Seychelles is returning to the competition for the first time since 1995. Angola, Belize, Guam, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay are also returning to the competition after a hiatus.
“I look forward to our delegates from all over the world getting to experience all [New Orleans] has to offer," says Shugart.