Sydney: Australia has been named the world’s top tourism country ‘brand´ for the second year running Tuesday in an annual survey of travellers and industry experts from around the world.
United States was again runner-up in the Country Brand Index, with Britain rising to third place from sixth in 2006.
Australia was also named the best country for outdoor activities and praised for having the most friendly locals in a survey that was carried out amongst 2,600 people.
“Australia is impressive as a strong country brand for the range of vacation experiences that can be enjoyed,” the study said.
A record 5.5 million visitors travelled to Australia in 2006, fuelling an industry worth about $70.4 billion that generates more than 10% of the country’s exports, according to official data.
Queensland state Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said international visitors appreciated the Australian character.
“In my experience what those around the world love about Australians is our attitude, the kind of people we are,” she said.
“We’re out there, we laugh out loud, we’ve got some pretty peculiar expressions here and there,” she said, adding: “It’s our friendliness, a kind of honesty.”
The top 10 countries in the survey, which is carried out by marketing consultant FutureBrand and public relations firm Weber Shandwick, with 2006 ranking in brackets:
1 - Australia (1)
2 - United States (2)
3 - Britain (6)
4 - France (4)
5 - Italy (3)
6 - Canada (-)
7 - Spain (7)
8 - New Zealand (8)
9 - Greece (5)
10 - Japan (-)