Tourism Queensland accused of 'bikini bias' for 'Best Job in the World'
Sydney, Mar 7 (ANI): Tourism Queensland has come under fire for choosing only young people "who looked cute in a bikini or... guy(s) with a washboard stomach".
In a letter to Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes, a Canadian "baby boomer" and caretaker reject Mandy Spottiswoode has complaint that only beautiful people made to the 'Best Job in the World' shortlist.
She said that the government authority had misled applicants about the type of candidate it wanted.
"The original promotion stated that they were looking for someone who would enthusiastically promote Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Spottiswoode as saying.
"Nothing was said about age, or lack of it, being a primary qualification. Of the 50 shortlisted candidates, only a couple look as if they could possibly be over 35.
"Not only is this discrimination based on age, but it is ignoring the demographics of those who have the money and leisure time to travel, namely the baby boomers.
"If you wanted someone who looked cute in a bikini or a guy with a washboard stomach, you should have said so. Then all of us over a certain age could have saved ourselves the considerable amount of time we put into preparing our videos.
"Mostly, I feel that TQ was not honest to the contestants. This was a brilliant idea, which, in my opinion, has now become much less interesting than it could have been. I have been left with a distinctly bitter taste in my mouth," she added.
However, a spokeswoman for Tourism Queensland has rubbished the criticism, insisting age was not a factor in the selection process.
The spokeswoman said it was to be expected that some of the nearly 35,000 people who did not make the cut would be disappointed.
"Tourism Queensland has been contacted by people who were unhappy that they were not shortlisted ... (but) to be fair and equitable to all applicants, we must ensure that a consistent approach for processing and short-listing applicants has been adopted," she said.
"We have also received hundreds of emails from applicants congratulating us on the campaign.
"However, the technical nature and physical requirements of the role meant there would have been more younger people who applied," she added.
The six-month stint will require the successful applicant to explore neighbouring islands, swim, snorkel, discover wildlife, and the locals. (ANI)