For those who missed out on the "best job in the world," Taiwan is offering the "best trip in the world," a marketing drive to promote tourism that builds on the global success of the Australian campaign.
Taiwan will choose 50 travel groups to write about their four-day trips to the sub-tropical Asian island, then give more than $30,700 to the writers of the best online travelogue, the island's tourism bureau said.
"Small as it may be, Taiwan is a treasure trove of stunning natural scenery and exciting local culture that offers immense possibilities for the do-it-yourself traveler," the contest Web site said.
"Experienced travelers worldwide are invited to submit money-saving yet creative itineraries for a trip in Taiwan, share their personal stories from the tour in audio/visual blog posts, and let people around the world see this island nation through their eyes," it added.
The tourism board of Australia's Queensland state this month picked a British charity fundraiser for the so-called "best job in the world" — caretaker of an island in the Great Barrier Reef — after the innovative marketing campaign that highlighted the power of social media.
The campaign attracted nearly 34,700 video entries from almost 200 countries, surpassing all expectations in promoting tourism in the Australian state.
"The headline of our event is like theirs, but the format isn't the same, and the outcome isn't the same," said Cheng Ying-huei, a Taiwan tourism bureau official. "We think the international response should be good."
Although Taiwan's contest, under study since October, sounds similar to the Australian campaign, it works differently.
The 50 groups, to be picked before July 10 based on proposed itineraries, will get $860 each to spend over four days and write credible, creative accounts of their trips by the end of August in English, Chinese or Japanese, Cheng said.
The grand prize winner also has to spend the money within one month and only in Taiwan.
Taiwan's cabinet in April approved almost $1 billion to promote tourism, aiming for $17 billion in related revenues in 2012.
Taiwan attracts many tourists from east Asia, where it is known for mountain scenic spots and urban landmarks such as the National Palace Museum, but travelers from other parts of the world often pass it over.