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Chinese city offers US$50k for professional tweeter
Hangzhou hopes to attract a "modern day Marco Polo," to spread the city's best attributes via social media
A city in China is seeking a "Modern Day Marco Polo" to discover the city's most tourism-worthy places and tweet about them.
It's the latest of various envy-inducing job alerts over the last two years, such as "the best job in China," Shanghai's first male breast masseur, a British water slide tester, a Chengdu panda ambassador, Cathay Pacific's US$360-a-day travel blogger and, of course, the job that started it all, Queensland Australia's "best job in the world."
A picturesque eastern city about 200 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, Hangzhou is now offering someone the chance to be a "Dr. Hangzhou."
The "job," offered by Hangzhou Tourism Commission, apparently demands nothing more than broadening one's cultural experiences over the course of a year and spreading them via social media.
A paycheck of €40,000 (US$51,870) will be provided.
Dr. Hangzhou’s job duties include starring in a promotional video of Hangzhou and being the city’s overseas tourism promotional advisor.
He or she will also promote the city through videos, photos and feeds on various social media platforms.
Becoming Dr. Hangzhou appears a little trickier, however.
Applicants are required to register via their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Twitter and Facebook are blocked in China.
Once registered, applicants are expected to show off their "Chinese spirit" by finishing at least one of four online tasks: "My Chinese Name," "My Hangzhou Costume," "My Hangzhou Recipe" and "My Hangzhou Love Story."
The winner will be determined by the number of interactions and activity ("likes," tweets etc) each applicant generates on social media platforms.
All were able to speak Mandarin fluently and, perhaps more importantly, showed off a glowing affection for Hangzhou. One wore an "I (heart) Hangzhou" T-shirt in his application.
More on CNN: 5 most scenic spots in Hangzhou
The chosen candidate -- announced next year -- will receive a free cultural tour to the city for 15 days.
The real Marco Polo described Hangzhou as “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world" when he visited 700 years ago, according to Hangzhou Tourism Commission.
Unlike similar campaigns, the winner won't get to stay in Hangzhou for the entire year, thus allowing them to post to Facebook and Twitter.