Thursday, March 25, 1999

Pageant gleaned isles
‘incalculable’ exposure

By Craig Gima


A final report on the Miss Universe Pageant last year estimates the event was worth more than $24 million in media exposure and visitor spending to the state.

The report also shows the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau returned $228,378 of a $3.3 million appropriation to the general fund.

The cost to stage the pageant in Hawaii was $5.07 million, including a $1 million site fee to the Miss Universe Pageant partnership _ Donald Trump and CBS Television _ to have the contest in the islands. About $2 million of the cost was provided through businesses.

The HVCB calls the pageant "an unqualified success on all levels." The HVCB said the return of the state's investment ranged from "incalculable worldwide media exposure, to local spending by the Miss Universe organization's producers and pageant participants."

The event also showed Hawaii can host an international entertainment event, the HVCB said.

The bureau estimated Hawaii got a little more than 15 minutes of fame during the pageant and multiplied that by the $152,000 price of a 30-second commercial to estimate the $4.7 million value for media exposure in the United States. The exposure in other countries was estimated at $7.5 million.


The bureau also looked at the value of publicity for Hawaii from shows and stories broadcast and printed both before and after the pageant.

Also, $1.9 million was spent employing local companies to stage the pageant, and each of the 81 delegates and an average of six traveling companions are estimated to have spent $1.3 million during their visit. The pageant also paid $40,000 in general-excise-tax revenue for the direct state funds it received.

The HVCB surveyed U.S. residents who requested an Islands of Aloha travel guide after the pageant. The survey showed 68 percent of those who requested the guide had seen the pageant.

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