More than 330,000 people from 196 countries around the world expressed interest in Australia’s “Best Jobs In The World” campaign. Now, 40,000 hopefuls will vie for the position of a lifetime.
Applications closed Wednesday for the six “dream jobs”: chief “funster” in New South Wales, lifestyle photographer in Melbourne, Outback adventurer in Northern Territory, park ranger in Queensland, taste master in Western Australia and wildlife caretaker in South Australia.
Work descriptions included things like “sleep under the stars in a bush camp,” “talk to wallabies and cuddle koalas” or “tour the best restaurants, wineries, breweries, pubs and lobster eateries.” Each position comes with an A$50,000 salary and A$50,000 for living expenses for a six-month commitment.
The 40,000 applicants competing for the six positions each submitted a 30-second video on the competition website. The organizers will announce a shortlist of the top 25 applications for each job on April 24. Then, they’ll fly the top 18 finalists to Australia in June for a final interview before announcing the winners at a media event on June 21.
Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, said the competition “clearly struck a chord with the world.”
“In a few months, there’s going to be six very, very happy people getting a dream job offer and a life-changing opportunity to work and play in our great country,” he enthused.
McEvoy said Americans proved the most keen for a shot at a job in Australia, followed by Brits, Italians, French and Koreans. The most sought-after job, meanwhile, was chief “funster” in New South Wales, followed by wildlife caretaker in South Australia and park ranger in Queensland.
McEvoy noted that the A$4 million initiative is part of a major push to promote tourism opportunities offered by Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program.
“Our working holiday maker Facebook page has gained nearly 300,000 new fans since we launched the competition, with more than 430,000 people now actively seeking information about a working holiday in Australia,” he said.
The “youth segment” (18-30 years of age) pumps A$12 billion annually in total tourism spending and delivers more than a quarter of Australia’s international arrivals, according to Tourism Australia. The tourism board figures that each of these travelers spends about A$7,279 per trip in Australia, while the Working Holiday Maker program as a whole contributes A$2.5 billion to the Australian economy.
McEvoy said 30 percent of people that expressed interest in the “Best Jobs in the World” also requested further information about vacationing in Australia.
STA Travel, which partnered with Tourism Australia, reported a 17 percent increase in U.K. sales and a 45 percent spike in web traffic, which it attributed to the promotion.
“Best Jobs in the World” is based on a 2009 Queensland campaign of the same name. It received 34,000 applicants from 200 countries and an unprecedented amount of international publicity after the tourism board offered one lucky person A$150,000 and the chance to be the “caretaker” of a paradisiacal island in the Great Barrier Reef.
Tourism Queensland figures that for the A$1 million it spent on the campaign, it generated about A$70 million in global publicity in the first month alone and A$200 million overall.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...