Free Thai holidays inspired by 'best job' competition

It may not be the best job, but it could be the best holiday.

Inspired by Tourism Queensland's 'best job in the world' campaign, Thailand is now offering five couples the chance of a free holiday in the country most popular cities and beaches, provided they blog, tweet and chat about it.

They will also be in the running for US$10,000 cash, plus a video camera and Blackberry.

Applicants should be "good storytellers" and must know how to use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said on the contest's newly launched website where one-minute video auditions can be submitted until October 15.

"We got the idea from Australia," TAT official Phanom Kaributra, who is coordinating the contest, told Associated Press. "We think it's a good way to use social networking to promote Thailand."

Tourism Queensland's 'best job in the world' competition is estimated to have generated around $150 million in publicity after costing only $1 million. The competition winner, Ben Southall, is working as a 'caretaker' on Hamilton Island for a year with a salary of $150,000.

Last week Tourism Queensland said the promotion had resulted in a significant increase in tourism.

A panel of TAT officials will select 25 semifinalists by October 15 and the winning five couples – and grand prize winner – will be chosen by an online vote.

Each of the five couples will be sent early next year on a six-day trip to different destinations: the capital Bangkok, beach resorts Phuket, Samui and Pattaya, and the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Phanom told AP the couples would be free to explore but would not be encouraged to "go to red-light districts and places like that."


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