Wanted: Full-time travelers for the 'best job in China'

Wanted: Full-time travelers for the 'best job in China'

Get paid to travel around the world -- Chinese site seeks travel "experiencers"
paid full-time traveler
'Happiness in sunshine' exclaims the page of Kuxun's 'chief travel experiencer.'

Similar to the highly successful 'best job in the world' campaign run by Australia's Queensland Tourism in 2009, a Chinese online travel agency is offering "the best job in China."

According to People’s Daily, the enviable position of “travel experiencer” was concocted by Kuxun, which is affiliated with TripAdvisor.

Drawing inspiration from the Australian campaign that hired a caretaker for the Great Barrier Reef, the Beijing-based website shelled out a total of RMB 5 million (US$788,000) looking for full-time and part-time paid travelers.

According to the job descriptions posted earlier this year, the "experiencers" would hit the road with appointed domestic or international tour groups.

They would then be required to file their up-to-the-minute happenings and feelings through Kuxun, Weibo and other online media and give an overall evaluation to readers at the end of the trip.

The monthly salary of the position is said to be more than RMB 10,000 (US$1,572), but the actual amount was not specified.

Who qualifies?

Tsinghua University graduate Hao Na (郝娜) was the first to land the gig in China. (Follow Hao Na's travels on Flickr and Weibo.)

After working in Shanghai as a designer for three years, the Tianjin-native quit her job and spent all her savings, RMB 100,000 (US$15,739), to travel around the world.

This is an unusual decision in Chinese culture, because most people in the country prioritize stable jobs and savings in their lives.

After traveling constantly for five months, Hao approached Kuxun in May because she wanted "to show the beauty of the world to more people."

“My job is actually not what the others might think,” said Hao, who came onboard as Kuxun’s chief travel experiencer three months ago.

“What we do is to try our best to share our feelings [about our travels] through Weibo and other media and to promote the beauty of travel.”

Besides Hao, Kuxun is now employing 30 experiencers on a part-time basis. The site’s chief executive officer Zhang Haijun (张海军) equated this new occupation to sommeliers, as both exist to help customers find the best fit for their own personal preferences.

“Travel can be divided into planning, purchasing and sharing and travel experiencers can help potential customers select suitable routes by sharing their own feelings throughout the trips,” Zhang told People's Daily.

According to Liu Beibei (刘蓓蓓), the officer in charge of the recruitment and quoted in the report, a good experiencer needs the following skills and background: Plentiful travel experiences, excellent writing and photography skills and the ability to bring happiness to others.

How to apply

Since its launch, the high-flying position has drawn applications from more than 50,000 savvy travelers in China, People's Daily reported.

Kuxun has announced plans to hire more Chinese and other nationalities as travel experiencers in 2012. Details can be found on its official website (Chinese only). Interviews form part of a job-hunting reality TV show broadcast across China.