Seven lucky, social media-savvy travellers can call Australia home for the next six months, having been appointed for Tourism Australia’s Best Job(s) in the World.
The winners of the $4 million campaign were announced this morning with an American finance graduate, a Brazilian travel photographer, an Irish internet entrepreneur, a French tourism graduate, an English film costume designer and a Canadian adventure tour guide beating 330,000 other applicants.
The competition received mroe than 600,000 entries from 196 countries, with applicants vying to be Chief Funster of NSW, Outback Adventurer for Northern Territory, Park Ranger for Queensland, Wildlife Caretaker for South Australia, Lifestyle Photographer for Victoria, and Taste Master for Western Australia.
Each winner will enjoy a $50,000 salary along with $50,000 worth of living expenses. Winner of NSW’s Chief Funster role, Andrew Smith, is the social media manager for Google-sponsored online travel show Peeta Planet sponsored by Google. "It's always been about the story,” he said once his name was announced. “Now this is over let's go have a journey – let's find the fun"
An extra job was added just a few weeks ago, with major partner Virgin Australia announcing the new "High Flyer" position. The chosen High Flier, a speechless Cameron Hearst from the USA, was to be whisked around Australia over the next six months to “uncover hospitality trends and innovations in world-class service”.
The campaign built on 2009’s original campaign, conjured up by Tourism Queensland. Ben Southall the original winner manned the announcement this morning, and is now in the process of gaining Australian citizenship.
The group of 18 social media savvy nominees have spent the last two weeks researching the destination of their applied job, with each blogging, tweeting and instagramming their journeys online. This will be the continued requirements of the winners as they continue to market Australia through social media.
Tourism Australia’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said the competition had already been delivering results. “Virgin Australia and STA Travel [have both reported] increased bookings and Tourism Australia [has seen] a significant spike in international interest in Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program.”
McEvoy said STA had reported a 100 per cent rise on bookings out of the USA, 60 per cent rise out of Germany and 20 percent rise out of the UK.
The competition was created to target the 18 to 30 age sector from countries with holiday visa arrangements with Australia, such as the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
The group of male-dominated winners included only one female, while in the group of 18 nominees, only there were only two from the Asia sector.
The Tourism & Transport Forum’s CEO ken Morrison said the campaign has given fresh impetus to promoting Australia in a number of key markets, especially for people considering a working holiday in Australia.
“Working holiday makers contributed $2.5 billion to the Australian economy in 2012 spending an average of $13,000 each during their stay.”