Desperate to snag what's being billed as the "Best Job in the World," thousands of people from around the globe have submitted video applications to the tourism department of Australia's Queensland state for their latest advertised vacancy - a US$100,000 contract to relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months while writing a blog to promote the island.
With more than a million unique visitors logging onto the website that advertises the gig since it was posted Monday. The department had to upgrade from its one original server to 10 to handle the volume of visitors to the site, which crashed earlier in the week.
The department had already received 2,000 video applications , 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 winner's home country, the employee will be required to perform such arduous tasks as strolling the island's white sand beaches, snorkelling its crystalline waters and exploring other islands along the reef.
The job is part of a $1.1-million campaign to publicize the charms of northeastern Queensland state and the employee will be required to post videos and photos on a weekly blog to help promote the area.
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'Osama bin Laden' applies for dream island job
UPDATE: 24 Feb 2009
More than 34,000 apply for "world's best job"
A total of 34,684 applicants from more than 200 countries have applied for "the best job in the world" -- taking care of tropical Australian Island on the Great Barrier Reef, according to media reports Tuesday.
"This has been a phenomenal response and certainly more than we ever anticipated," said Tourism Queensland chief executive Anthony Hayes.
Up till the deadline the most interest came from the U.S. with 11,565 applicants, followed by Canada with 2,791, Britain 2,262 and Australia 2,064, the government said in a statement.
All candidates are required to submit a video chip in English in about one minute explaining their qualities for the post. The applicants have to be over 18, and be a passionate communicator with fluent English.
The job provides 150,000 Australian dollars (about 100,000 U.S. dollars) for six months and includes free airfares from the successful candidate's home country to the island.
The campaign is a key element in a drive to promote the northeastern Australian state's 18-billion-dollar--year tourism industry during the tough global economic climate.
A list of 50 applicants will be announced on March 2, the final 11 candidates will be flown to the island for interviews from May 3, and the winner will be announced on May 6.