SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA?One Greek woman promised to do all of Australia?s laundry and clean up after the kangaroos. An Australian apparently had a tattoo advertising her love of the Great Barrier Reef etched onto her arm. And a few people just took off their clothes.
Desperate to snag what?s being billed as the ?Best Job in the World,? thousands of people from across the globe have submitted video applications to the tourism department of Australia?s Queensland state for its latest advertised vacancy?a A$150,000 ($100,000) contract to relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months while writing a blog to promote the island.
1M unique visitors
At one point on Wednesday, the huge global interest crashed the Australian website where it is advertised, officials said.
?Oh boy,? an overwhelmed Anthony Hayes, chief executive officer of Tourism Queensland, said with a laugh on Thursday. ?What have we done??
Response to the job offering has been mind-boggling, Hayes said, with more than a million unique visitors logging onto the website advertising the gig since it was posted on Monday.
The department had to upgrade from its one original server to 10 to handle the volume of visitors to the site.
?In one hour alone, 25,000 people were trying to visit,? said Nicole McNaughton, spokesperson for the state government.
On Thursday, a team of 10 people?who, Hayes noted, were starting to look ?pretty nervous??were sifting through the 2,000 video applications the department had already received, with tens of thousands more expected before the Feb. 22 deadline.
In exchange for the plush salary, free accommodation in an oceanfront villa and airfare from the successful applicant?s home country, the winner will be required to perform such arduous tasks as strolling the island?s white sand beaches, snorkeling its crystalline waters and exploring other islands along the reef.
As the island?s ?caretaker,? he or she will be required to report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates to help promote the area.
The winner will ?also have to talk to media from time to time about what they?re doing so they can?t be too shy and they?ll have to love the sea, the sun, the outdoors,? acting state Premier Paul Lucas said.
The successful candidate must be over 18, a ?fantastic and charismatic? communicator, and able to speak and write English.
The job is part of a A$1.7-million (US$1.1-million) campaign to publicize the charms of the northeastern Queensland state.
?The tourism industry is having a tough time at the moment,? Hayes said. ?So what we?re really trying to do is drum up as much interest and as much passion for the place as we can.?
The job?s website shows many of the 60-second video applications received so far from all over the world, including Brazil, Romania, Switzerland, the United States and Turkey.
?We?ve had visitors [to the website] from as far and wide as Mongolia and Vatican City,? McNaughton said.
Candidates are required to create a video application in English of up to one minute explaining why they are uniquely qualified for the job.
Job seekers can apply on www.islandreefjob.com.