PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia – Angeli Dione Gomez from the Philippines was crowned the Miss Tourism International 2013/2014 last night.
The 20-year-old, who wanted to be a film director, was ecstatic to bring back the crown to Philippines after the country won it last year.
“The first thing I plan to do is to meet my family whom I have not met for about one month and have a nice breakfast with them tomorrow,” she told reporters.
As the title holder, Gomez will be tasked as travelling ambassador in promoting informal international relations between countries to spread the message of peace, goodwill and friendship.
The first runner-up who also held the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year 2013/2014 went to Sunidporn Srisuwan from Thailand; second runner-up also carried the Miss Metropolitan 2013/2014 won by Sarah Czarnuch from Malaysia; fourth place won by Michelle Alexis Torres from Dominican Republic which carried the Miss Tourism Global International 2013/2014 title and Malaysia representative Thaarah Ganesan won fifth place which carried the title Miss Tourisn Cosmopolitan International 2013/2014.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the ministry would give its support to the pageant which he believed make significant mark in the tourism industry especially in 2014 as Visit Malaysia Year.
“The wheels have already been set in motion with the public and private sectors doing their utmost best to promote the country to local and overseas visitors.
“Malaysia has so much to offer, in terms of tourism, culture and heritage with our multi-racial diversity living up to our branding of Malaysia Truly Asia,” he said.
And doing its part in promoting the country nationwide and globally was D’Touch International Sdn Bhd, he said, that had organised the Miss Tourism International 2013 World Final for the 17th consecutive years.
As the only New Year’s Eve pageant in the world, he said, this year’s Miss Tourism International World Final held on Dec 31 added significant in the Tourism Calendar as Visit Year Malaysia 2014 event took off one day after the World Final.
“What more, the Miss Tourism International World Final has had already made inroads into the pageantry industry, as it is not only a Malaysian homegrown title, but it is also franchised to more than 80 countries around the world.
“This year’s event, held to promote peace, friendship and cultural exchanges between the participants, will see a record number of 60 delegates from all converging on Malaysia to vie for the title.
“This set as a record for the largest participation ever since the inaugural event held in Kuching, Sarawak in 1994,” he said.
Such an event, he said, would in turn lure more tourist arrivals and placing the country in the international spotlight through global news coverage of the World Final be it in print or electronic.
As an acknowledgement of the pageant’s success, the Miss Tourism International Title owned by Datuk Danny Ooi was accorded International Branding status as the Country Branding of the Year Award 2013 at the Brand Laurette Awards 2013 organized by Asia Pacific Brands Foundation.
This cemented Miss Tourism International Pageant’s reputation and stature as a top-class and prestigious event recognized worldwide, Nazri said.