T&T's delegate for the title of Miss Tourism Queen International 2009 Candice Worrell, is listed as the third favourite to win the title. The competition takes place in China on Saturday–the same day local screening of delegates for the Miss World Pageant would be held in Port-of-Spain.
Worrell, a 26-year old Health and Safety Officer, of Jenexcon Engineering, would work as an ambassador for T&T promoting tourism, trade and industry while in China The Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant is the third most prestigious pageant in the world with an estimated two billion viewers in 40 countries annually. In 2007, Dominique LaVeau placed fourth runner up out of 108 delegates and was asked to do a tour of duty in China to speak about T&T. She was also asked to return in 2008. LaVeau is now in New York studying at the School for Film and Television.
Local franchise holder of the comeptiton Michael Raghunanan said he had no intention of sending a contestant this year due to a lack of sponsorship, but the organisers of the pageant stepped in and sponsored Worrell's airfare, insisting that T&T be represented because of the past performances of local delegates. Raghunanan who is is also National Director of the MIss World competition, said he supplied a competition wardrobe, paid for the Chinese visa and took care of some other incidental expenses for Worrell who acquired corporate sponsorship on her own.
Raghunanan said, "I am really bothered by the Ministry of Tourism and the TDC's lack of support for a tourism pageant, especially following the attempted murder of a vacationing couple in Tobago. I would have thought that any opportunity to repair our image internationally would have been welcome and even supported." "When these girls do well, Trinidad and Tobago gains the recognition so it is a matter of national pride and should be funded at least in part, by various Government ministries. People look forward to these shows every year. It's important to Trinidadians and Tobagonians that we be well represented.
Screening for Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2009 takes place at CNMG's studios on Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain on Saturday at 11 am.
Young women between the ages of 17 to 24 who are unmarried and who have never given birth and would like to compete for the title can contact Raghunanan at 683-6207 or 645-4187 or join the face book group Miss. World Trinidad and Tobago 2009.