HANGZHOU, China, May 22/Xinhua-AsiaNet/--
A global search has led to one lucky recruit landing his dream job and becoming the Modern Marco Polo. After a worldwide campaign, 26-year-old Swiss young man Liam Bates is named the Modern Marco Polo as the ambassador for the city of Hangzhou in China, which was described as 'the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world' by Marco Polo, one of the first European visitors to Hangzhou in the 13th century.
It is the first time that a global recruitment campaign held to find a foreign ambassador for a Chinese city. The "Be the Modern Marco Polo" program was launched on Hangzhou Tourism Commission’s Facebook page in March 2013 and subsequently attracted 26,000 applications.
"We are delighted to appoint Liam to the role. We have no doubt that he will be an excellent representative for Hangzhou over the coming year." Mr. Zhao Hongzhong, spokesperson for the Hangzhou Tourism Commission said, "Our city is an ideal destination for tourists and we believe Liam can tell the world about what Chinese culture has to offer."
Originally from Switzerland, Liam comes from a multinational background, with a British father and an American mother. He studied at the University of British Columbia in Canada and visited China at 17. Now he lives in Beijing, hosting travel shows on Chinese television and presenting at universities.
As the Modern Marco Polo, Liam is looking forward to his first adventure in Hangzhou. "It's great news. I'm really excited and look forward to learning more about Hangzhou and telling the world about the many attractions of both the city and Chinese culture. I think one of the fascinating things about Marco Polo was his bridging of two cultures, teaching the East and West about each other. It's a privilege to be able to follow in his footsteps and act as a 21st century source of information about China."
Liam is offered Euro 40,000 and he will spend a year promoting Hangzhou on social media. He will start a personal 19-day tour around the city and surrounding area, including a four-day trip along the Grand Canal running from Hangzhou to Beijing, as well as activities based on tea, silk, traditional medicine and the art of seal carving.
For more information:
'Be the Modern Marco Polo Experience': http://www.facebook.com/Hangzhou.China
SOURCE: Hangzhou Tourism Commission
CONTACT: Ms. Li Chen