Beijing: Being paid to travel and scooping a monthly salary of 10,000 yuan (USD 1,600) just for taking photos and writing blogs... this is not a dream, but Hao Na's job.
Having traveled to more than 10 different countries throughout Asia and Europe, 28-year-old Hao Na has made a full-time career of her passion since becoming a "travel experience officer" for a tourism website, a job which involves sharing her travel experiences online to lure potential clients, reports Xinhua.
"Others save money to travel, but I travel to make money," says Hao, who was chosen from among 50,000 applicants to be offered the position in April.
"It's definitely my dream job," she adds.
Inspired by the new ways of communication made possible by social media platforms like Weibo, where ordinary people can share their experiences and points of view, China's travel industry has started to recruit individuals like Hao to offer frank and honest advice to would-be travellers. It is proving a good promotional alternative to handing out glossy brochures.
"The job has given me a sense of responsibility when I travel. I am expected to tell other travellers why I love these places and how they can find the special attractions as well as some money-saving tips," Hao says.
Gone are the days of the 1980s when young graduates were assigned to dull working positions in which they had no interest. The development of Chinese society and technological innovation has created a new breed of jobs that can no longer be found under old-fashioned classifications of employment.
Zhang Yumo's job sounds like the most comfortable vocation in history. She is a "hotel test sleeper" for a mobile app. Her working responsibility is to anonymously experience hotels' service, environment, cleanliness, value for money and dining.
Her reviews posted on the mobile app provide an independent third-party evaluation and help travellers make smart hotel picks.
"When making comments on hotels, we try our best to get rid of subjective preference and write objective descriptions... Using pictures and videos, my report serves as a vivid illustration for customers," she says.
Zhang was selected for the job in 2010 from a pool of 7,000 applicants thanks to her art college degree and background of freelance writing. She has since been certified by the China Hotel Association as a "Professional Hotel Test Sleeper", earning 10,000 yuan a month.
"These emerging jobs like travel experience officer, modeling for websites, hotel test sleeper, pet photographer, reflect Chinese people's pursuit of a high quality of life," according to Liu Kang, director of the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Center.
"These jobs cater to the rising demand of urbanites for a sophisticated lifestyle as well as offering more opportunities for young people to jump into a job that they are really passionate about," he adds.