South Africa has won its bid to host the Miss World Beauty Pageant after the contest was moved from Ukraine over safety concerns in neighbouring Georgia, an official said Wednesday.

“Johannesburg was chosen (from) among a number of cities around the world to host the prestigious event,” Johannesburg tourism company chief executive, Lindiwe Mahlangu, said in a statement.

The company hoped to use the December 13 event in Johannesburg to showcase the city’s world class facilities and promote it as a tourism destination, she said.

South Africa has hosted the pageant eight times, with South African contestants winning the title in 1958 and 1974.

The beauty and entertainment extravaganza, to be watched on television in more than 180 countries, was expected to give Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, much-needed exposure ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament, according company.