Queensland Tourism’s “Best Job in the World” campaign is back with Million Dollar Memo

Tourism Queensland – the team behind the successful Best Job in the World campaign – today launched the Million Dollar Memo – a new campaign targeting the global incentive travel market by offering companies and workplaces around the world the opportunity to compete for AUD $1,000,000 worth of travel experiences to Queensland, Australia.

“Great companies are built by the great people within them, so we’d like to reward that hard work by giving one lucky company the chance to win the Ultimate Reward – AUD $1,000,000 worth of Queensland travel experiences for their staff,” said Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes.

“We’ve sent the Million Dollar Memo to thousands of companies and workplaces worldwide, inviting them to showcase their organization to a global audience by telling us why they are the best company in the world and why their employees deserve the AUD $1,000,000 worth of unique travel experiences to Queensland.

To be in the running, entrants need to create an entertaining 60 second video that shows what makes their company great and why they think Queensland is the ultimate reward destination. Video entries can be submitted at www.milliondollarmemo.com.

“It doesn’t matter if you work for a global sporting company, a software giant or a small-town bakery, if you have 3,000 employees or only three – the Million Dollar Memo is open to companies and workplaces around the world,” Hayes said.

The contest runs from March 18 to May 1 and consists of three phases; a Top 50 short-list, a Final 20 list and an Incentive Challenge Event which will see a representative of the final 20 companies traveling to Queensland to compete in person. People will vote for five of the top 50 contenders in a “People’s Choice” category, while the remaining 45 will be chosen by Tourism Queensland.

From the Top 50 short-list, website visitors will vote again for three “wild cards” within the Top 20. Tourism Queensland will select a further 17 entries for the Final 20 list, which will be announced on 6 July.

Those companies fortunate enough to make it to the Final 20 list will get to send a representative to Queensland for an Incentive Challenge Event which will be held in unique locations throughout the state starting on August 23.

The winner will be announced on August 31 and will enjoy the AUD $1,000,000 grand prize of Queensland incentive travel experiences.

Australia floods leave tourist industry in peril

The terrible floods in Queensland, Australia, have destroyed thousands of homes, done billions of dollars of damage, and have left at least a dozen people dead. Queensland is a major coal exporter, and with the rising waters hampering shipments and flooding mines, world coal prices have risen. A major consumer of Queensland coal are Asian steel mills, which are already feeling the pinch. This has led to a rise in steel prices. That’s a double dose of bad news for the economic recovery.

Another Queensland industry has also been hard hit–tourism. The tourists have fled along with the residents, but it’s the long-term effects that are more harmful. If rising coal and steel prices hurt the economic recovery, that’s bound to hurt the tourism industry pretty much everywhere. Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, is the center for Australia’s Gold Coast, a major draw for Australia’s $32 billion tourist industry. Floods are damaging popular beaches and will require costly repairs. Coastal and riverside hotels and shops are being destroyed. The Brisbane Times reports that toxic materials washed into the sea could have an effect on delicate coral reefs and fish populations. With snorkeling and scuba diving such popular activities on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, this could do long-term damage to tourism.

Meanwhile, airlines are worried about how this will affect them. Virgin Blue has already seen its shares drop by 3.4 percent today because investors fear there will be a drop in bookings. Qantas shares also dipped slightly. Airlines are issuing fee waivers for passengers who want to change their flights to, from, or through Brisbane.

It looks like Queensland residents will suffer from the flood long after the waters recede.

[Photo of Brisbane sunset courtesy user t i m m a y via Gadling’s flickr pool]

Brit gets “best job in the world”

Ben Southall will spend six months swimming, blogging and soaking in the sun. Tourism Queensland picked the Brit from 16 finalists yesterday – not to mention 34,700 video entries from nearly 200 countries. The job pays A$150,000 (US$110,000) for Southall’s “efforts.”

His thoughts: “I hope I can fill the boots as much as everybody is expecting, my swimming hopefully is up to standard and I look forward to all of the new roles and the responsibilities that the task involves.”

My thoughts: Don’t hurt yourself, Ben. Nobody’s really expecting anything profound from a publicity stunt.

To secure his new gig, Southall overcame finalists from 15 countries, including students, journalists, a receptionist and an actress. Oh, and a porn star. MSNBC forgot that one.

Meanwhile, Tourism Queenland‘s already thinking ahead. This gimmick could become an annual event.