It’s a dream of every girl in the world to be crowned a Miss World in their country if not been recognized as ‘Miss World; in Kenya the Miss Tourism Kenya is a hotly contested affair that see women embrace every opportunity presented to them as they battle to recognized as the ‘Runway Queens’ a title that comes with both money and brand endorsements.
The Miss Tourism Kenya (MTK) was founded in 1990 by MaryAnn Wanja who is also the Managing Director of Vera Beauty & Fashion College. MTK is a registered trademark in East Africa. Vera Beauty College offers training courses in modelling, hair and beauty.
It’s from this college that MTK pageant was born the first ever event being held in 2001 at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
“The first event was a success by any measure, we have grown by leaps and bounds since then, “Ambassador Alice Kamunge, the National Director of MTK.
Following the promulgation of the new constitution in Kenya MTK was devolved following the new system of governance that was created by the new constitution. In 2013 MTK County edition was into the counties.
Today, MTK has the blessing of the County First ladies as the Patrons.
County governments, through their respective ministries of Tourism and Trade, have organised and held miss tourism events in the counties.
Miss Tourism is an annual national event that seeks to personify Kenya’s Tourism strengths through pageantry.
The contest taps from young and talented ladies exhibiting a passion for marketing their Counties and Nation both locally and internationally.
“Our aim is to rally people towards the Promotion of six key Tourism development pillars: Tourism attractions sites and products, Cultural diversity and practices, Environmental Conservation practices, Business and Investment opportunities, Hospitality of our people, Promotion of Peace and Coexistence,” says Amb. Kamunge.
MTK consciously promotes integration and cohesion of Kenya’s cultures.
Amb. Alice adds “We want to bring Kenyans together from across the borders in the sharing of cultural and national values with the aim of promoting Investment and Tourism in the country. “
Kenya boasts beautiful landscapes and wildlife, forming the part of beauty, identity, culture and heritage of East Africa’s economic power house.
Since launching MTK in the 47 Kenyan counties, as well as organising the national event, Miss Tourism Kenya ltd, the company that operates the pageant, has had winners from around the country.
Annah Wughanga Olila from Taita Taveta County was the overall winner in 2013. In 2014 the winner, Jacqueline Jeruto Komen, hailed from Baringo County. There have been winners from Kakamega, Marsabit and Kakamega Counties as well.
Different Counties at different times have hosted the national event: opening up their regions for potential and untapped investment in Tourism.
Auditions for Miss Tourism Kenya events are primarily organized at Ward, Sub- County, and County levels.
Winners at the county level take upon the mantle of representing their polity at National level – where representatives for International competitions are selected. County representatives have one year tenure.
National finals are held annually in a one week extravaganza that gives Kenyans and visitors the opportunity to experience Kenya’s diversity through competitions in Traditional dances, Traditional Food displays, Exhibitions and Talents Competitions.
This extravaganza is open to the members of the public with selected guests officiating and awarding winners in various categories.
Winners are selected for the following titles: nine regional winners and one popular winner by public voting.
These winners go to the final stage where they are put through their paces in a question and answer session. Ultimately six winners are picked as follows:
Miss Tourism – Peace and Unity
Miss Tourism - Hospitality
Miss Tourism - Investment
Miss Tourism - Environment
Miss Tourism – Culture
Miss Tourism Kenya
The overall winner is awarded with 1.2M shillings worth of a contract with Miss Tourism Kenya Organization and a chance to represent Kenya on a global stage.
Areas of preparation for Miss Tourism include: personal etiquette and grooming, knowledge on all the six pillars of MTK in relation to the County.
Miss Tourism Timelines
1st Jan. to 20th September: Counties can pursue their County competitions
15th & 16th September: Central Auditions in Nairobi for Counties not participating
17th to 29th September: Pre-Academy Training
1st to 12th October: National Academy
13th October: National Finals - Gala Night
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