Matauaina Gwendolyn To’omalatai winning the Miss Pacific Islands Title in Suva last week
Suva, FIJI – Friday 15 December 2017: The South Pacific Tourism Organisation has announced the appointment of the newly crowned Miss Pacific Islands, Matauaina Gwendolyn To’omalatai to the role of the 2018 Pacific Islands Tourism Ambassador.
Ms To’omalatai who represented American Samoa, was crowned the Miss Pacific Islands at the finale of the 31st Miss Pacific Islands Pageant at the Prince Charles Park in Nadi, Fiji last week. It has been 15 years since American Samoa won the regional pageant and this will be the sixth time the crown will travel to the island paradise.
As the first new ambassador, Miss Pacific Islands will be participating in the South Pacific’s biggest tourism trade event, the South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) to be held in Adelaide, Australia from the 11th to 13th April, 2018.
The role will provide a platform to advocate the issues of women and youth empowerment in tourism & hospitality, sustainability in tourism development, and showcase the warm and friendly Pasifika spirit to the world through the South Pacific Islands tourism brand ‘Ours Is Yours’.
SPTO will cover all of her expenses to SPTE and an SPTO chaperone will be provided to assist her in the role of 2018 Pacific Islands Tourism Ambassador. Her role will include:
- Participating in social media campaigns;
- Special speaking sessions;
- Participation and/or attendance at media conference/s, public events organised by SPTO;
- Other activities that will enable her to be an advocate for sustainable tourism.
Her appointment as the Pacific Islands Tourism Ambassador will be an extension of the advocacy on Climate Change to sustain the Pacific Islands carried out during the recent Pageant. It will connect this theme to sustainable tourism as the Pacific moves towards making a positive impact through the tourism industry on the future social, economic and environmental well-being of Pacific people and places.
SPTO expects that the role of ambassador will provide Miss Pacific Islands with a platform to tell our story to the world, showcasing:
- How to craft deep and meaningful connections between Pacific people, places and visitors;
- Pacific stories that capture the warmth and optimism inherent to the people and reflect the impact these have on lives today and tomorrow;
- A focus on sustainably developing the region and building a legacy future generations can benefit from and be proud of.
Miss To’omalatai was born in Onenoa, American Samoa, and was studying nursing at the University of Hawaii at Kapi’olani Community College before she entered the Pageant, with her goal of becoming a registered nurse specialising in treatment and care of diabetes patients and bring about awareness on diabetes.
She currently works for the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, and will now focus on fulfilling her role as the Pacific Queen.
SPTO wishes Miss Pacific Islands the best during her term and looks forward with great expectation to working with her in 2018.