Australians vote Britain its highest ranking for ‘Welcome’

Monday 02 December 2013

A year on from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, results from the most recent 2013 Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index study (NBI), undertaken in July, confirm that Britain is one of the world’s most well-rounded nations, ranking third for ‘Overall Nation Brand’ and fourth for ‘Culture’, ‘Tourism’ and ‘People’.

‘Overall Nation Brand’ combines scores across all of the study categories. No less than eighteen of the twenty panel countries rated Britain’s ‘Overall Nation Brand’ in the top ten this year, while Australia ranked Britain the fourth for ‘welcome’– high praise from a country widely recognised as one of the world’s most welcoming nations.

Britain’s overall ranking for ‘Sport’ - based on the extent to which respondents agree that Britain ‘excels at Sport’ - also moved up one place to fifth. The UK will continue to host major sporting events in the coming years, including the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014 and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Britain is already a leading destination for holidaymakers seeking city breaks and this study suggests why, with nineteen out of the twenty countries placing Britain among the top ten when it comes to being ‘rich in contemporary culture’ and ‘vibrant cities’.

These perception changes are also reflected in growth for international arrivals with Britain on track to welcome a record number of Australians in 2013. According to the latest provisional arrival figures from the Office of National Statistics (UK), Britain welcomed more than 860,000 Australians during Jan – Sept 2013 period, a 15 per cent growth the same period last year. This is significantly higher than the six per cent growth for overall international visitation to Britain during the same period.

Australia is the 10th largest source market for arrivals into Britain and the fourth most valuable market by spend. VisitBritain has an ambitious 2020 growth strategy which aims to double annual spend by international visitors to $A48 billion and welcome 40million international visitors each year, an increase of 9 million, by the end of the decade. Australia has a major role to play in helping reach that goal – VisitBritain is forecasting it can attract 1.2 million Australians a year by 2020, with spending by Aussies increasing to $A2.14 billion by 2020, a growth of some 42 per cent.

Reinforcing the importance of inbound tourism to the British economy are the results of a recently study commissioned by VisitBritain. Tourism: jobs and growth was produced by Deloitte highlighting the tourism economy in Britain is set to grow by 3.8% per annum – faster than manufacturing, construction and retail; and will be worth 10% of GDP or £257bn by 2025. The industry is currently worth £127bn, accounting for more than 3 million jobs or 9.6% of UK employment.

Sandie Dawe, CEO of VisitBritain, commented “The NBI results prove that Britain has retained, and built on, the global image boost of hosting the Olympics. Our GREAT campaign has promoted culture, heritage and countryside – so to see areas such as ‘Welcome’ and ‘Natural Beauty’ markedly improve is a considerable achievement. This wave of interviewing, one year on from the Olympics, gives us a reliable, long-term view and tells us that positive post-Games perceptions were certainly not short-lived. Our reputation across the world has firmly changed for the better and we will continue to build on this to promote Britain for tourism around the world. The figures speak for themselves, with record numbers of holidaymakers choosing to come here.”

Sumanthi Ramanathan , Regional Director Asia Pacific, VisitBritain commented: “The record number of Australians travelling to Britain this year prove there’s never been a better time for Australian visitors to experience the diversity of Great Britain - spectacular countryside, world class museums, fantastic sport, incredible theatre and of course a welcoming people. Nor has it been easier to visit regional Britain with airline partners offering simple flight connections direct into regional Britain. It is encouraging that over a year on from London 2012 we have enhanced our reputation as a welcoming destination even further. It’s important that we continue to champion the best of Britain to this vital source market.”

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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