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UK working holiday maker on winning trip to Cairns

Working on a Great Barrier Reef Island and meeting Tropical North Queensland’s wildlife are on the wish list for a UK woman who has won a first class flight to Australia as part of a major campaign to attract working holiday makers to the destination.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland partnered with one of the world’s leading youth travel platforms, Global Work & Travel, to launch the ‘First Class To Paradise’ campaign. It was aimed at encouraging working holiday makers from the UK, Ireland and Europe to travel to Australia and be matched with a partner employer in the Cairns and surrounding region.

When told of her win by Zoom, Georgia Lea burst into tears: “Oh my god, that’s amazing. What a dream. I’m shaking. That has made my day. That’s the best news I’ve ever had in my life.”

Georgia, a restaurant/bar supervisor who graduated from Warrington College in 2014 in Hospitality and Catering, has nine years’ experience in the industry. She’s currently working at Las Ramblas Wine & Tapas in Warrington and will be looking to add to her resume in Tropical North Queensland for four to six months or longer.

She plans to arrive in Tropical North Queensland in November, after her first class flight in a suite with Singapore Airlines, and explore the major tourism attractions of the region including the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and the cosmopolitan city of Cairns.

“This still hasn’t really sunk in yet. It probably won’t really hit me until I’m actually on the flight out to Australia,” Georgia said.

“When I was told I’d won on the Zoom call, I was totally caught by surprise. My hair was all over the place and I wasn’t prepared for anything but I don’t really care.

“I was so excited and afterwards I was literally crying for 10 minutes.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said he was looking forward to welcoming Georgia to Tropical North Queensland where she could work and play in paradise.

“Our international holiday destination is booming with Australian visitors and we are slowly welcoming back guests from overseas, but we urgently need working holiday makers to assist with the demand,” he said.

“Young travellers were an integral part of our workforce before the pandemic when they were enjoying being dive masters on the Great Barrier Reef and bar tenders in eco-lodges tucked away in the world’s oldest rainforest.

“We have had great engagement with this campaign which has really helped to put Tropical North Queensland on the map as a working holiday maker destination once again.”

This will be Georgia’s first trip to Australia and she says she’s always wanted to head Down Under as one of her bucket list destinations.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the wildlife and it was a friend who convinced me to just do it and book a working holiday trip,” she said.

“From what I can see there is so much I can do in the tropical north, and my plan is to do as much of it as possible.

“Ideally, at some stage I’d like to get some work on a Barrier Reef island which would be fantastic. That’s something I can’t do in the UK.”

The social media campaign and competition ran extensively for a month and it featured young travellers enjoying the natural beauty of the region on the Great Barrier Reef, at waterfalls and swimming holes and enjoying the nightlife of Cairns.

The campaign was designed to encourage eligible travellers aged 18 to 30 to sign up for a Working Holiday trip through Global Work & Travel, which guarantees to match travellers with open jobs before arrival into Australia.

Global Work and Travel CEO and Co-founder Jürgen Himmelmann said Tropical North Queensland is one of the most popular for their travellers and for good reason.

“This campaign will drive home the multitude of lifestyle benefits you can enjoy in this part of the world,” Mr Himmelmann said.

“We’re committed to doing all we can to help our partner employers with their staffing issues and we feel privileged to be working with Tourism Tropical North Queensland on this important initiative.”

Meet the Winner Georgia Lea