Despite the economic gloom and doom of recession and unemployment, one lucky applicant is soon to sign up for the “best job in the world” on Australia's Hamilton Island.
Tourism Queensland has been headhunting globally for someone to spend six months as a caretaker for the tropical island and its neighbour the Great Barrier Reef.
Whittling the 34,684 applicants from some 200 countries down to a shortlist of just 50 candidates, the applicants range from dancers to scientists, chefs and students. The candidates hail from countries as diverse as the United States, Britain, Russia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Kenya.
The job pays A$150,000 Australian (US$100,000) for six months and includes free airfares from the successful candidate's home country to the island, known for its white sands and clear waters.
In return, the lucky winner will be expected to soak up the sun, swim, snorkel, sail and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
Candidates had to submit a video application in English of up to one minute explaining why they are uniquely qualified for the post.
The Top 50 will be narrowed down to a final 11, ten of whom will be chosen by Tourism Queensland with an eleventh “wild card” applicant chosen by popular vote.
They will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May to take part in the final selection process with the successful candidate announced on May 6.
The campaign is a key element in a drive to promote the northeastern Australian state's US11.5billion-a-year tourism industry during the tough global economic climate.
Candidate videos are accessible at www.islandreefjob.com