Bulawayo Bureau —
NEW Zealand’s Ariel Pearse was crowned Miss Tourism International on New Year’s Eve in Malaysia on the same night when Zimbabwe’s Ashley Morgen did the nation proud by making it into the top 10 of the contest.
Pearse was crowned queen at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel ahead of Thaina Carolina Maglhaes Peres from Brazil, who was crowned as Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International, Tasha Laraine Ross (Australia) — Miss Tourism Global, Ximena Delgado Mendez (Mexico) — Dream Girl of the Year International and Dikna Faradiba Maharani (Indonesia) — Miss South East Asia Tourism Ambassadress.
Following Morgen’s top 10 berth, the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Trust were elated by the feat saying their hard work had paid off at the first effort.
“Miss Tourism Zimbabwe in its first year after being rebranded and being a new pageant with a new vision in its projects is very proud to congratulate Ashley Morgen for making it to the top 10 of the Miss Tourism International Competition, representing our beautiful Zimbabwe.
“Congratulations to all our sponsors and all those who made it possible for this dream to come true. Congratulations also to all our followers for liking our sites everyday and following our news,” said MTZ trust spokesperson Alson Darikayi.
He said given more time to prepare they believe Morgen would have done better than a top 10 finish.
“If we had given her enough time to prepare she could’ve performed even better, but all the same reaching top 10 out of 60 countries is no mean feat.
“Even the way she performed in the question and answer segment and on the talent competition shows she is naturally intelligent and very confident and extremely talented,” said Darikayi.
He said Morgen arrives today at the Harare International Airport aboard a Kenyan Airways flight.
Morgen joins the list of other local beauties that have made it to the top 10 of a major international pageant such as Angeline Musasiwa (Miss World 1994), Corrine Crew (Miss World 2000 top 10) and Malaika Mushandu (Miss World 2011 top 15).