Dáithí Ó Sé says it has been "two very long years" without the Rose of Tralee.
This year's festival - which will be held in August - is being officially launched today, after the 2020 and 2021 edition had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
The contest rules have been expanded to ensure trans women and married women can take part, while the age limit for contestants has also risen to 29.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Dáithí - who has been hosting the contest since 2010 - told Newstalk Breakfast the return of the festival is a sign that things are getting back to normal.
He said: “We had two very long years without the Rose of Tralee.
“What people see on TV, it’s only two nights. There’s a huge festival around it that lasts the whole week.
"The people of Tralee are the backbone of the whole festival.”
The presenter said the original entry rules for the contest were devised in a very different time in Ireland, and they've evolved over the years.
He observed: “This year if you’re a trans woman you can enter the Rose of Tralee. The age limit has gone up to 29. And for the first time if you’re a married woman you can enter.
“It’s about being inclusive - having a look at what’s happening in society and applying that to the Rose of Tralee.
One other change this year is that the main contest will no longer be broadcast from the traditional 'Dome' marquee.
Dáithí explained: "The TV show part of it now is moving out to MTU [Munster Technological University].
"They have a huge sports arena there, that you can put a big stage into a big audience.”
He said the hope is that there will still be a crowd of around 2,000 people able to attend the live event.
Dáithí says it will hopefully also make for a more comfortable presenting and broadcasting experience - as the old Dome could be “roasting” on a hot summer day due to its plastic exterior.