Pattaya, 06 August 2018 – Miss Rachel Rafka Younan from Sydney, Australia was crowned the winner of Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2018 in a glittering ceremony in Pattaya, Thailand, last night (Sunday).
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) partnered with the Miss Lebanon Committee and Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI) to host the event. As part of the agreement, 11 finalists in the pageant were flown to Thailand for five days and filmed during the final round of activities. This was the first time a Miss Lebanon Emigrant final had been held in Thailand.
Thailand has become increasingly popular amongst Arab travellers in recent years and attracted a total of 616,000 visitors from the Middle East in 2017. The country is particularly popular for Lebanese honeymooners, with the most frequented areas being Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Samui and April, August and December the most common months to travel.
The final of the competition saw the women battling it out on stage in front of a panel of judges and a room full of VIPs and guests. Each finalist competed in a series of rounds including national dress, swimwear and evening gowns, with the hope of impressing the judges. Last year’s winner, Ms. Dima Safi, was also on stage to hand over the crown.
The 11 finalists enjoyed five days of incredible local activities in Pattaya including releasing turtles at the Pattaya Turtle Research Centre, cookery and yoga classes, and visits to the Mangrove Forest Conserve, Natural Study Centre and Nong Nooch Garden, the largest botanical garden in South East Asia.
Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak (above picture, right), TAT Deputy Governor of International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas), said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with the Miss Lebanon Committee and LBCI on this event. Lebanon is a key market for us, and we have had a great time hosting the finalists here, and not only showing them Thai culture, but also learning about Lebanon’s fascinating culture. We hope that through this partnership and future collaborations, we can welcome even more Lebanese travellers – from families, to couples, to solo travellers – to experience everything that Thailand has to offer.”
Mr. Antoine Maksoud, President of the Miss Lebanon Emigrant Committee, said, “We have had a fantastic few days in Thailand this week. Thailand has so much to offer female travellers and all of the contestants have had a unique opportunity to experience Thai culture at it’s best, first-hand. We look forward to partnering on many more events in the future.”