Guyanese duo win inaugural Mr and Miss Model Tourism of the World titles

Raveena Mangal and Paul Charles

Raveena Mangal and Paul Charles

Guyana’s representatives emerged as winners of both the Mr and Miss Model Tourism of the World titles, besting their peers from 13 countries. The inaugural pageant saw Raveena Mangal being crowned Miss Model Tourism of the World 2021 and Paul Charles, Mr Model Tourism of the World 2021.          

“I can’t believe this is happening. They say with work anything is possible. I believe in the impossible dream and here I am! Dreams do come true,” exclaimed Paul. The win comes as the perfect finish for Paul as he had planned that this was his last pageant. He has competed in a number of pageants and model competitions in the past and excelled.

Meanwhile, being crowned queen is huge for Raveena since she had never competed in a pageant before. “This is truly an incredible feeling! It is a win for my country, those who supported me and for the hardworking and amazing team. It’s never too late to pursue a dream, no matter the time or the circumstance. Keep believing,” she gushed.

Initially the pageant was set for last year but was cancelled as a result of the pandemic. It was then slated for this year in Montego Bay, Jamaica. However, that was not to be and it was decided that the competition would be held virtually.

National Director Roshini Boodhoo-Persaud could not be more excited. She noted that though she has worked with contestants participating in pageantry, this was her first stint as national director and to have not one of her contestants but both of them win was remarkable.

Roshini shared that the outcome is as a result of Raveena, Paul, herself and their small team working tirelessly and putting in their best efforts. She noted that doing this was not an easy feat particularly because all the categories were competed virtually. Roshini explained that not only did they have to become tech savvy but they also needed to create the same hype as for a pageant that was competed in person.

“With a virtual pageant, it was a little challenging to create the ambience or atmosphere… It could have just been, hey, let’s have three rehearsals, make a video, send it up and just sit and wait for the final results but instead [we] tried to make it an entire journey,” she said.

“Both of them were nervous… I love that they were nervous because for me, they’ve taken it so seriously and they are so humble that they didn’t for one moment think, yeah, whatever. They felt it wasn’t really about them but it was about doing this for Guyana.”

Roshini further shared that she constantly had Raveena and Paul on their toes, always sending them a barrage of questions preparing them for the intelligence segment of the competition.

Both Raveena and Paul finished in the Top 3 for Best Tourism Speakers. However, the award for this went to Pakistani contestant, Muhammad Fahad.

Among the awards accumulated by Paul were: Winner of the Head to Head Challenge, Best in Swimwear, Top Model, Best Talent, and Best National Costume.

Raveena took awards for: Winner of the Head to Head Challenge, Top Model, People’s Choice, Best National Costume, and Best Tourism Speaker.

Both costumes were created by designer Dexter Gardener. Paul’s costume was dubbed ‘The Amazonian King’. It represented the land, the species and the integral connection between human and nature. Few places on earth can boost the beauty and diversity of the Amazon rainforest and the conservation and protection of its species relies on the understanding and the preservation of the forest as a whole. This pushes for sustainable living as an essential move towards a future where generations to come can benefit from its rich diversity and co-exist with its amazing plants and animals.

Raveena’s costume named ‘Devi Regia’ was inspired by the world’s largest water lily from the land of the giants. It married the beauty of Guyana’s national flower, the Victoria Amazonica lily, with the rich East Indian heritage of one of Guyana’s six races. Hence the goddess, the ‘Devi’, protecting the diverse flora biodiversity of Guyana’s lush rainforests and verdant coastal plains. The costume also depicted Guyana’s flora and fauna, minerals and its ecosystems.

While they await the pageant’s crowns, Paul and Raveena will don replica crowns and sashes for appearances and their humanitarian work.

Among their prizes are model contracts, trips and other consolation prizes.

Finishing second in the Mr Model Tourism of the World category was Muhammad Fahad of Pakistan while Biljana Janevska of North Macedonia was first runner-up in the Miss Model Tourism of the World category.

The local pageant organization is hoping for collaborations with the various ministries as well as a courtesy call with the Ministry of Tourism and has begun looking for interested persons to apply for next year’s pageant.

The Mr and Miss Model Tourism of the World is focused on promoting tourism, culture, travel and youth development worldwide.

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