Executive in running for dream job

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 March, 2009, 12:00am

Yi Yao, 30, loves the sea and scuba diving.

A management executive who works for a multinational company's Guangzhou office, Mr Yi visits different diving destinations in Southeast Asia whenever he is on holiday.

But he has not tried the waters of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

'I would love to scuba-dive on the Great Barrier Reef - it's heaven for every scuba diver,' he said, explaining why he had decided to compete for 'the best job in the world'.

Busy with media interviews, Mr Yi said the organiser told him only on Tuesday morning that he was one of 50 semi-finalists.

Mr Yi and Ying Yu, a female television tourism programme presenter in Beijing, are among the candidates from 22 countries that Tourism Queensland chose to compete for the job, which entails spending six months on Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

A total of 34,684 applicants from about 200 countries entered the contest, Tourism Queensland said, with 500 from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. One Taiwanese applicant also made the short list, but no one from Hong Kong did.

The job, which starts on July 1, pays A$150,000 (HK$737,600) for six months and includes air tickets to Hamilton Island.

The winner will have as much fun as possible, soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkelling and sailing, reporting to the world via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.