The 71st Miss World will be crowned in Srinagar, the capital city of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Julia Morley, the chair of the Miss World Organisation, made the announcement on Monday while on a visit to Srinagar along with reigning Miss World, Poland's Karolina Bielawska, Miss India World 2022 Sini Shetty and other beauty queens.
“This is a blessed place for tourism,” Morley told reporters. “Truthfully, I am so happy. It is emotional for us, to see such beauty.”
A month-long series of events will begin in November, with a glitzy finale, which will include the crowning of Miss World 2023, set to take place on December 8.
“The decision to award India with this prestigious honour recognises the nation's rich cultural heritage, its commitment to promoting diversity, and its passion for empowering women,” the Miss World Organisation said in an Instagram post.
Home to spectacular mountain scenery, India has recently ramped up promotion of tourism in Kashmir following years of violence and insurgency. Control of the Muslim-majority territory is split between India and Pakistan, both of whom claim it in full but administer separate portions, divided by the Line of Control.
In May, India hosted a G20 tourism meeting in Srinagar under tight security in a bid to show that “normalcy and peace” were returning, according to officials, after a massive crackdown following New Delhi's revocation of the region's limited autonomy in 2019.
Bielawska said she was stunned by Kashmir's scenery.
“I cannot wait to welcome 140 nations, and all my friends and family, to bring them here to India and to show them places like Kashmir, like Delhi, Mumbai … you have so many beautiful places,” she said.
“This is my third time in India, I am so happy it's not the last one. Every time we come here we discover something new and India is very diverse. However, in every state there is something common, which is the wonderful hospitality.”