As part of the 6-month contract, which pays $150,000, he is expected to promote the wonders of reef to the world through blogs and video postings. It was hoped that his reports would spark renewed interest in the region and boost tourism.
However, the plan may have backfired, after readers of his blog complained that his reports were too few and far between and told them little of life outside the Tourism Queensland PR bubble…
Another reader, Hj, said: “Ben looks like just a character Tourism Queensland made up. sick of ‘THIS ISLANDS AWESOME’ . tell me your story, not their itinerary.”
Tourism Queensland have denied the claims that Mr Southall’s itinerary was too full and blamed poor mobile phone or internet access for the lack of daily blog posts.