Think you're a 'chief funster'? Australia needs you
If the promise of sun, sea, sand and surf isn't enough to draw you Down Under, Australia's tourism promoter is hoping its offer of a "dream job" will do the trick.
After its previous, wildly successful campaign in 2009, Tourism Australia is again accepting applications from adventure and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for the "Best Job in the World".
Last time, just one job was up for grabs. This year there are six positions available, in six states: chief funster, outback adventurer, park ranger, wildlife caretaker, lifestyle photographer and taste master.
Successful applicants will get their travel expenses paid and a salary of A$100,000 (HK$790,000) - all for spending six months swanning around the country, scoping out the hot spots, checking out the wildlife and sharing it all with the world.
"Hongkongers have a good chance - their English is good, they're tech savvy and, of course, they represent China, which is a focus of the world," said Tourism Australia regional director Eva Huang, who was in town yesterday promoting the campaign.
The competition opened on March 5, and more than 5,000 Hongkongers had applied by 10am yesterday, Huang said. Some 127,000 hopefuls had applied worldwide, she said.
The A$4 million marketing campaign, which was launched in London last week, is part of a push to lure more young travellers to Australia - particularly from places that it has a working holiday scheme agreement with, including Hong Kong.
The campaign is targeting travellers aged between 20 and 39, who accounted for 26 per cent of all visitors to Australia last year. The competition is open to anyone aged over 18 who is eligible to work in Australia.
"The working holiday scheme has people staying for longer, so they explore more places and spend more," said Huang.
Some 4,666 young Hongkongers were granted working holiday visas for Australia in the past six months, she said. "This segment [20- to 39-year-olds] brought in A$12 billion last year," said Huang, adding that Australia was keen to attract more Chinese tourists.
Mainland Chinese were the biggest spenders of all tourists to Australia last year - dropping a total of A$4.1 billion while they were on holiday in the country.
The winner of Australia's first "best job" competition, four years ago, was Briton Ben Southall. He spent six months living as "island caretaker" on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, and sharing his experience with the world.
Applications will be accepted until April 10, and can be made at www.australia.com/bestjobs