Global rush for 'best job in world' crashes website
Want to be paid for snorkeling and tanning on the Great Barrier Reef? So do hundreds of thousands from Mongolia to Vatican City.Sydney -- Huge global interest in "the best job in the world" -- earning good money for lazing about on a paradise island -- has crashed the Australian website where it has been advertised, officials said.
"We've been inundated, with around 300,000 people visiting the site yesterday," said Nicole McNaughton, a spokeswoman for the Queensland state government Wednesday, which is offering the six-month post of "island caretaker." "The website crashed -- in one hour alone 25,000 people were trying to visit -- but we're working on it and it should be up and running again later today."
The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (about 100,000 US dollars) and includes free airfares from the successful candidate's home country to tropical Hamilton Island on Australia's famed Great Barrier Reef.
In return, the winner will be expected to have as much fun as he or she can -- soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkeling, sailing -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
The successful candidate, who will stay rent-free in a multi-million-dollar three-bedroom beach home, must be over 18, a "fantastic and charismatic" communicator, and be able to speak and write English.
The campaign is a key element in a drive to promote the northeastern Australian state's 18 billion dollar a year tourism industry during the tough global economic climate, officials say.
And they are at pains to stress that it is "a real job."
The successful applicant 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," said acting state Premier Paul Lucas. "The fact that they will be paid to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world."
The economic downturn has undoubtedly played a part in turning the advertisement into a dream for hundreds of thousands of people facing a daily media dose of doom, gloom and job losses.
"We've had people visiting the website from as far and wide as Mongolia and Vatican City," McNaughton said.
The freezing northern hemisphere winter may also be a prodding some into action.
More than 350 applications were submitted before the website crashed, from Britain, the United States, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Canada, Netherlands and Portugal among other countries.
"The applicants so far have ranged from a Swiss horsewoman to a sun-seeking teenager from England to 'Richard' from the UK who can be seen swimming with the fish in his application," she 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.
One applicant submitted his application via email in six different languages and some candidates had reportedly visited the Australian Embassy in Washington with applications in hand, McNaughton said.
Applications are open until February 22. Eleven shortlisted candidates will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May for the final selection process. The six-month contract will commence on July 1.
Job-seekers can apply online at www.islandreefjob.com.