Call this work? … relaxing on a long-tail boat in Thailand. Photograph: Alamy
Travel around the world, and get paid to do it. As jobs go, it sounds too good to be true. But for those holding out for employment that meets these criteria, things are looking up; recruitment opportunities for the “best jobs in the world” are definitely on the rise.
Today, lastminute.com became the latest travel company to offer one lucky individual the chance to become a professional holidayer. The site is the on the hunt for a “Spontaneity Champion”, who will be given £50,000 worth of travel and experiences to “road test” over the course of 2014. The winner will get do something different every weekend of the year – from long haul breaks to luxury hotel stays in London – and by sharing what they get up to will become the online face of the brand.
The ideal candidate will “have a spontaneous approach to life which will inspire others,” which we assume translates as, “is very good at persuading people to drop everything and book a holiday.”
Indeed, it is not just the winner that wins here – for a very modest outlay holiday companies are boosting their social media presence, and there have been a string of such opportunities offered by savvy travel operators.
In August, online travel agents Jauntaroo launched a campaign to find a “Chief World Explorer”, who will be paid $ 100,000 to fly to destinations across the globe. Among the desired attributes for the job is being “partial to naps and/or massages on pristine beaches”, however they are also expected to blog about their travels, sharing photos, videos and other content through the site’s social media channels along the way.
Earlier this year, UK company First Choice advertised for a “slide tester” to spend six months riding and rating the water slides at its SplashWorld resorts around the world, while enjoying free accommodation and an ample £20,000 salary.
Back in 2009, Tourism Queensland advertised for someone to live on the great barrier reef for six months and “house sit” the tropical islands there. The stunt, which is where the “best job in the world” moniker originates, received 34,000 applicants from 200 countries. From a $ 1m investment, Tourism Queensland generated more than $ 110m of global publicity.
The idea was then adopted by Tourism Australia, who now run an annual competition for six jobs, with increasingly daft titles, such as “chief funster” and “wildlife caretaker”.
This year Virgin Australia also jumped on the concept, collaborating with Tourism Australia to offer the role of “high flyer” as a seventh “best job”. The position involves flying around the country “experiencing the heights of Australian hospitality”.
And since 2007, STA Travel have run a “World Traveler Internship”, which invites young people to enjoy a paid for holiday, producing videos and taking photos in each country they visit.
It seems that when it comes to bagging the “best job in the world”, you’ve got a better chance than you think.