By Gabrielle Blitz
May 20, 2014

What would the modern-day Marco Polo look like? After a global search on Facebook, which included 26,000 applications, 26-year-old Liam Bates is the successful recruit. He'll become the foreign ambassador to represent the city of Hangzhou, a major tourist destination in China, and will work to encourage visits and increased tourism from foreign nationals.

The announcement was made on Monday, May 19, commencing the start of a 15-day trip to Hangzhou for Bates and a salary of 40,000 euros.

Mr. Zhao Hongzhong, spokesperson for the Hangzhou Tourism Commission said, “We have searched across the globe for the Modern Marco Polo and have been looking for someone who is energetic, adventurous, and loves a challenge. Our city is an ideal destination for tourists and we look forward to Liam telling the world about all that Chinese culture has to offer."

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.