Miss Heritage pageant a plus for tourism

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1522

BEAUTY pageants are critical to promoting Zimbabwe as a prime and safe tourist destination, organisers of Miss Heritage have said.
Zimbabwe has in the past suffered and continues to suffer from negative publicity spewed by Western media in the effort to effect regime change.
The country has been depicted as an ‘unsafe’ tourist destination.
Stories such as the killing of Cecil the Lion for example, have been blown out of proportion in a bid to derail the tourism industry in the country.
However, the stubborn fact that has been hard for many people abroad to swallow is that the country has enjoyed peace, since attaining independence in 1980.
The streets of Zimbabwe are safe and more peaceful than those in the United States where not only gangsters shoot down people, but the policeforce as well which seems to enjoy killing black people.
Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is on the rebound propelled by aggressive marketing by the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and other stakeholders.
Beauty pageants such as Miss Heritage also come in handy in marketing the country that that has once again defied odds to win the much coveted African Rising Star Country Branding Award despite efforts by Britain and its allies to taint the country’s image.
In an interview with The Patriot, founder and president of Miss Heritage, Tare Munzara said pageants were effective in marketing the country.
“This is an avenue of promoting the national agenda,” Munzara said.
“There is still a wrong perception out there that Africa and Zimbabwe included, are not safe and are chiefly characterised by gunshots and drug-dealing, but we do not have that here.
“Our neighbours (South Africa) were recently involved in xenophobic attacks, but the United Nations (UN) Security Council did nothing, but when it was about former white farmers in Zimbabwe it became a ‘humanitarian’ issue.
“We can set the record straight through these pageants as it is covered by various international media organisations which broadcast and write stories that boost the profile of the country.”
Miss Heritage attracts beauty queens from around the world and the 2015 world finals shall be held in Harare in December.
Models are set to go into camp on October 30 and the finals will be held on December 8 featuring 45 countries.
The pageant will be run under the theme ‘I love my Heritage’.
Munzara founded Miss Heritage Pageant in Zimbabwe in 2012.
He got the idea during a visit to the World Heritage Site in Victoria Falls.
The pageant was founded on the basis to incorporate all nations, all religions and all people from different backgrounds to be involved in the process of initiating positive change in the world through the use of heritage sites.
There is no doubt that Miss Heritage gives women from around the world an opportunity to represent the most important feature of their country, which is a national heritage.
Munzara said the greatest shortcoming by most pageants was the failure by organisers to be original.
“Our greatest shortcoming is that we do not understand how to explore new ideas,” he said.
“We need to have our girls participating in international pageants.
“We need to have a governing council that protects the models and organisers and formalise the industry.”
Ladies from over 40 confirmed countries among them Sri Lanka, Cameroon, St Vincents and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago will battle for the Miss Heritage 2015 title.
The current Miss Heritage title-holder is Odessa Mae Tadaya from the Philippines who was crowned on December 20 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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