A young Vernon woman has been named Miss Tourism World Canada.
Local preschool teacher Samantha Sewell, 22, added the title to her list of accolades and will represent Canada at the international pageant in November.
As a tourism ambassador for the country, Sewell said it's "a very important role, especially in the age of COVID-19. I will be working towards more inclusive tourism opportunities and how to include those with disabilities in tourism," she added.
Sewell is fluent in American sign language and has studied deaf culture. She noticed a lack of captioning and information services in airports, bus stations and train stations across the country. She hopes to bring these and other disparities in tourism to light during her reign.
"Due to COVID-19, my reign may look different than before. It will include more online events and interviews.
"I will be focusing a lot on local tourism and supporting local hotspots that may be struggling at this time. Just because we can't travel doesn't mean we can't safely support tourism in a different way."
Sewell will travel to London, England, to take part in the pageant.
At the international event, she will promote Canada and compete in evening gown, media interview, swimsuit and national costume competitions.