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By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Nov 26: Suphatra Kliangprom from Thailand was crowned Miss Tourism International 2022/2023 at the pageant’s finals held here last night.
Charming her way into the judges’ hearts, Suphatra beat 39 other contestants in the glamorous 25th Miss Tourism International 2022 World Final.
She also received a crown, sash and trophy along with a cash prize of RM10,000.
Apart from winning the prestigious title, Suphatra also won the Best in Social Media subsidiary title.
This year’s competition – the 25th edition of the pageant – was themed ‘Promoting Tourism, Culture and Friendship’ and saw beauty queens from 40 countries vying for the title.
Laura Zabaleta (Vanezuela) won the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year, while Maria Angelica Pantaliano (Philipines) took the Miss Tourism Metropolitan International.
Miss Tourism Global went to Crystal Huang Ruojia from Singapore, Alysa Cook (USA) took the Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International title while Abigail Curd from New Zealand was named Dreamgirl of the Year International.
Malaysian contestant, Phoebe Ong Yi Huui, who managed to make it into the top 10 won the Miss Southeast Asia Tourism Ambassadress.
Prior to the coronation of the new queen, delegates engaged in a 16-day promotional visits to several tourist attractions, including Bau and Lundu.
Organised by D’Touch International, Miss Tourism International was first held in Kuching, Sarawak in 1994.
After 28 years, Kuching was given the opportunity to host the Silver Jubilee celebration.
The pageant was mooted by its president Tan Sri Danny Ooi to channel tourism in order to create and foster new relationships among participating countries through closer understanding of one another’s national cultures, customs and traditions.
Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state has a lot to offer and always been open to building good relationships with the world, be it international friendships, cultural exchange, or tourism-related activities.
Abang Johari’s speech was read by Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“This event brings the world to Sarawak, simultaneously promoting tourism, culture, and friendship through a series of activities lasting for 18 days in total.
“After two years of movement control order (MCO), we are now slowly getting back to the norm where we can interact with each other more conveniently and more frequently, though with all precautions and measurements taken into consideration.
“After the opening of traveling locally, and the gradual opening-up of international borders, we are expecting more tourists and visitors to Sarawak. We not only focus on the conventional tourism, but also putting effort into growing other activities in bringing in more people to Sarawak, for instance, business events,” he said. — DayakDaily