Ben Southall's family home is in the South of England, providing the perfect backdrop to his sports and adventures and spending time with family. Following his university degree, a BSc in Automotive Systems Engineering, Ben worked as a project manager promoting the Champagne Mumm brand at major sporting events and representing the company in South Africa at the Round-The-World Yacht Race. He then travelled throughout Southern Africa, stumbling upon an adventure company needing a driver and tour guide. 2008 was the year of Ben's 'Afritrex' adventure, circumnavigating the entire African continent by 4WD, travelling over 40,000 miles, completing five marathons and climbing five mountains. During this project Ben managed all of the marketing, website maintenance, blogging, promotion, sponsorship and fundraising which resulted in donating £20,000 to charity.
In January 2009, Tourism Queensland launched a global search to find a Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. A six month contract offering a salary of AUD$150,000, rent free luxury island accommodation and the opportunity to discover and report back to a world-wide audience what the region has to offer. The search for applicants received extensive media and consumer attention resulting in 34,684 potential candidates applying from almost 200 countries. In May 2009 the final 16 were flown to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef for the final interview and over four days the final 16 undertook a series of activities to showcase some of the experiences on offer on the Great Barrier Reef. Following the rigorous selection process, Ben was appointed as Island Caretaker, commencing his role from 1 July, 2009.
From July 2009 Ben travelled by sailing boat, catamaran, ferry, luxury yacht, jet-boat, 4WD, hobie-cat, chopper, seaplane, jet-ski, kayak, train, motorcycle and car, all to explore the wonders of the 2300 km long Great Barrier Reef. Ben hosted media and tourism trade familiarisations to the region and made guest appearances at various official tourism events throughout Queensland. A highlight for Ben was being interviewed via skype by Oprah Winfrey, airing in the US and then in another 140 countries around the world. Ben also starred in a six-part documentary series broadcast by National Geographic Channels International during his adventures as Island Caretaker. The Best Job in the World series originally aired in more than 315 million homes in 165 countries and 34 languages.
In his role as Island Caretaker, Ben fielded more than 450 media interviews from around the world and posted more than 60 blogs to the campaign website, equating to over 75,000 words; 2,000 photos, 47 video diaries and more than 1,000 tweets. The campaign attracted over AUD430 million in global publicity for Queensland with over 8.6 million visitors to the campaign website!
From January 2010 Ben began a new chapter in his role to promote Queensland. He embarked on a global PR mission as Queensland's Tourism Ambassador, giving the world a first-hand account of his experiences in the state. Ben toured the globe visiting Canada, the US, China, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Middle East and Europe.
In May 2011 Ben embarked on his next extreme adventure, a four month, 1600km kayak expedition along the Great Barrier Reef. Having worked and lived on the Queensland coast since 2009, Ben wanted to continue taking the story of the Great Barrier Reef to a global audience. This fragile eco-system is close to Ben's heart and taking the message of environmental protection to the world through his website and international media became the motivation behind the challenge. Retracing Captain Cook's 'Voyage of Discovery' took Ben through mountainous seas, along golden beaches, beside migrating whales and over some of the most fertile, beautiful dive sites in the world. The expedition engaged local schools, tourism organisations, celebrities and television shows to showcase this stunning World Heritage Site.
Ben continues to follow his passion for travel and the environment by promoting his Queensland experiences through media activities and blogging about his adventures.
Client Comments for Ben Southall
Ben Southall travels from Queensland Australia
- Ben was chosen to be the guest speaker for the Women in Tourism breakfast held in March 2012. Chosen for his enormous contribution to the Queensland tourism industry, Ben was the perfect choice to kick-start our networking events for 2012. As we expected, Ben attracted a full house. Speaking for over 20 minutes, Ben captivated the audience with stories and case studies from his travels, sales missions and marketing campaigns. He organised various videos and multimedia to animate his presentation and roamed the room engaging the group. We received many outstanding comments from guests of all ages on the day and would happily invite Ben back to any of our Women in Tourism events. Ben is the perfect choice for any company looking for a highly professional, organised and inspiring speaker.
Women in Tourism
"Caroline Martel-Hill has been wonderful in terms of helping me select the right people. Lauren Ellis has also been a great help in bringing this together - two very professional and easy to work with ladies. I appreciate their help very much. Service and quality was superb."
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