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Devoney Crossman of South Africa bagged the crown in the Miss Tourism Beauty of the World 2019 held in El Nido, Palawan on Sunday.

A 27-year old human resources payroll manager from Johannesburg said her hard work paid off and is excited for what the year will bring.

“It exceeded my expectation, inspired by the warm hospitality of the people of Palawan and awed by the pristine, untouched beauty of the province especially El Nido, and by the passion of the locals to promote eco-tourism,” Crossman said in a statement posted in Miss Tourism of the World Facebook page.

She also praised Filipinos for their hospitality and kindness as she observed from arriving and being in the country,

“I am really, really amazed at the world-class hospitality of the Filipinos and the kindness of the people. It is also my honor to be here in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” she said.

Anne Cherrylyn Apas, a travel show host from Palawan representing Philippines was also crown as the first princess and Manussanun Limjanphaphap of Thailand as the second princess.

Apas previously said that she can use her voice to promote sustainable tourism.

“As a travel enthusiast and a host, I can say that I can use my voice to encourage everyone to promote sustainable tourism,” Apas said.

Limchanprapha, as representative of Thailand, said that social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote their country which is known for pad thai, tuk-tuks, elephants, traditional clothing, temples, and the trans-gender acceptance.

“I usually use my social media accounts to promote my country through taking videos, photos of our different sites that showcase the beauty and culture of Thailand,” she said.

The international pageant was hosted by the Province of Palawan and the Municipality of El Nido where most of the activities were held.

MTBW 2019 was crowned by El Nido Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim together with MTBW 2019 host chairperson Nanette Leviste.

“Though there were only 8 girls out of the expected 20-plus international delegates for the inaugural edition, they were treated to 17 days that were filled with activities, eco-adventures and fun in the most beautiful island in the world,” said MTBW co-founder Ferdinand Galdones Abejon.

Sander Andan, the event organizer, said the pageant aims to promote the tourism industry of each participating country and ensure awareness and involvement in sustainable tourism.

“Miss Tourism beauty of the world is all about sustainability and co-existence of tourism by working hand in hand in protecting the environment. Napili namin ang El Nido kasi it is under rehabilitation. Why not tell the world na nandoon pa rin ang beauty nya despite the recent environmental issues. This is a way of helping El Nido, ipakita natin na we can take care of the environment while enjoying nature,” he said.

The candidates previously visited Cockatoo Sanctuary on Rasa Island in Narra, Tabon Cave Complex in Quezon, Sofronio Espanola, Aborlan, Taytay, Dumaran and Linapacan.

In 2018, the event called Miss Tourism Beauty of Asia was won by Wipada Inkaew and Philippine representative Ethel Abellanosa as the first runner up.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.