“What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Philippines?”
A recent survey conducted on 1,033 Australians by Canberra-based marketing agency, Dejan Marketing, showed that tourism and attractions were the respondents’ top associations with the Philippines.
The image of the Philippines to Australians has been “positive,” which is largely credited to the country’s tourist attractions, primarily its splendid beaches.
The leading theme of the research encompassed a range of answers including beaches, holidays, flowers, tropics, volcanoes, nature, mountains and sea.
Manila holds the first place as the most mentioned destination within the tropical country followed by Boracay.
Some respondents, however, thought that Indonesia’s renowned beaches in Bali are in the Philippines.
The second most prominent association was food, including items like bananas, dried mango, fish, noodles, pineapple, rice and beer.
“It appears that in addition to the usual tourism and attractions theme there may be additional directions worth fostering. This includes food of course, as there is a growing number of ‘foodies’ in Australia looking for exciting new culinary experiences,” the study stated.
A recent report from the Department of Tourism in February showed that Australians spent P0.96 billion in the Philippines, making them the fifth spending tourists in the country.
Australians also ranked as the fifth visitor-generating market with 43,712 arrivals during the month.
Despite the largely positive sentiment of the respondents, the study noted that about one in 10 Australians thought negatively about the Philippine with the emergence of themes such as poverty, bad weather, ‘adult industry,’ crime and corruption.
None of the respondents, however, mentioned about Manila’s terrible traffic and poor internet service.
One of the strongest associations in the survey was the notion of poverty with responses such as “poor people,” “slums,” “chaos” and “dirty.”
Another strong negative was attitude towards adverse weather conditions including heat, humidity, rain, cyclones and tsunami.
The third most prominent negative theme, meanwhile, was the ‘adult industry.’