INDONESIA -- The Philippine's Zara Carbonell was crowned the inaugural winner of Miss Tourism Worldwide, a pageant that promotes "tourism and cultural exchange."
The pageant, however, is more than just glamour as her bejewelled crown comes with carrying the weight of the world.
As the first-ever winner, the 25-year-old is now the official ambassador of tourism for all the countries across the globe.
As the title holder, Carbonell noted she is responsible with tasks such as "promoting underrated places and protecting those already popular."
"I’ve always believed that the beauty in tourism isn’t in being a stranger in a foreign land but instead finding home in all the places you’re at and this is definitely something I’d want to share," she said.
Despite being designated with an overwhelming responsibility, the crowned queen is quick to include the Philippines in her plans.
"This platform puts me in a good place to position the Philippines as the jewel that it is. I will help iron out misconceptions, and promoting the off beaten track places in our country," Carbonell explained.
Carbonell is not new to the industry. Before her historic win, the aspiring queen had already endured some hits and, of course, misses.
"The journey into pageantry was very eventful for me I had to take so much losses before getting to this win. My greatest takeaway would be that the process is far greater than the outcome because it’s what hones you, holds you, and heals you," Carbonell recalled.
She started her career pageantry at an early age in 2010, at her high school alma mater, Colegio San Agustin. Although she did not bring home the crown, she continued to enter bigger competitions.
Carbonell competed in Miss Earth in 2011, and Bb. Unibersidad in 2012, where she bagged the titles Miss Teenager Universe-Philippines and World University-Philippines. In 2017, Carbonell joined Miss World and was awarded 2nd princess.
"Life gives you what you need already with the understanding of what you’ll be taking away from it and how every experience will shape you. It really is a rough road that gets you there," Carbonell noted.
As the first-ever Miss Tourism Worldwide, Carbonell aims to use her reign to promote purposeful tourism through self awareness and education.
"I want to share my self awareness advocacy to the world by working closely with the ASEAN countries and more. I hope to hopefully visit more schools and do workshops which I’ll have to discuss with my partners as soon as I get home," Carbonell shared.
The newly crowned winner, who is scheduled to return home on September 15, is already eager to work.
"I cant wait to get back home and maximize my reign and conceptualize with my dear self partners and and come up with a collaboration with @edukasyon.ph, two of the social enterprises I’m working with," Carbonell added.