Lamu, KENYA: Nazma Abbas, a 22-year-old girl is the new Miss Tourism Kenya, Lamu county.
She was crowned the winner in the hotly contested completion held at the Majlis Hotel in Shella beach on Sunday night.
Hundreds of locals and tourists turned up at the hotel to witness the contest.
Nazma becomes the first Muslim lady from the Bajuni community to participate in and win the title since the pageant was introduced in Lamu a few years ago.
The grand finale had ten contestants.
Nazma was crowned by the Lamu county CEC for Tourism Dismas Mwasambu, a slot initially held by 23-year-old Jennifer Wairimu who had been crowned in 2016.
The annual exercise failed to take place in 2017 due to the post-election violence.
The event also saw the second runners-up Tina Katana crowned Miss Culture while the third runners-up Anne Wairimu was crowned Miss Environment.
This year’s Miss Tourism Kenya pageant in Lamu was aimed at promoting the dwindling tourism sector that has seen hotels and businesses close doors due to insecurity.
The County’s CEC for Tourism Dismas Mwasambu the event was also focused on cultivating cohesion among the various communities in the county.
“We are happy to host the Miss Tourism Kenya Lamu County edition. We are also happy for the new winners of the contests. We are looking forward to working together in boosting the Lamu tourism sector. The sector has been facing challenges due to the security status of the area. I believe such events can greatly do the sector some service,” said Mwasambu.
He said among other programmes which are in the pipelines geared towards improving the tourism sector include initiatives like Tembea Lamu, Safisha Lamu among many more.
Speaking shortly after she was crowned, Nazma pledged to use her position to do her bit in ensuring the tourism sector restores its lost glory.
“We are ready to sell the Lamu tourist nationally and worldwide. My concern is for the county government to support us in all our endeavors aimed at ensuring the sector thrives back,” said Ms. Nazma.
The event was sponsored by the Lamu Majlis Hotel, Skyward and Silverstone airlines, the KCB bank and the county government of Lamu.