UK MOVES UP WORLD RANKINGS AHEAD OF CRITICAL YEAR FOR TOURISM

Monday 17 October 2011

The United Kingdom’s image overseas has improved significantly over the last year, driven by better perceptions of British culture, its people and its appeal as a tourist destination. These findings were published in the latest Anholt-GFK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI) released last week.

Notable improvements across a number of key indicators see the UK overtaking France on the overall rankings to become the third most-admired country. This positions the UK as one of the strongest and most well-rounded nations in the world.

The results reveal that the UK – now one place higher than it was in 2010 - is also one of the few countries to feature in the top six slots within each of the six brand measurements1 that the NBI analyses annually.

Britain’s enhanced standing on the world stage has been buoyed by respondents’ views on it as a tourist destination, particularly because of the appeal of its rich historic landmarks and vibrant city life. It has also improved its aspirational appeal for overseas markets with visitors more likely to make the journey to the UK if money was no object.

Along with these gains, the UK has also enjoyed success for the third consecutive year in being seen as an interesting and exciting place for contemporary culture, jumping up two spots to fourth place with music, films, art, literature and sports – all areas strongly associated with the British.

“This year’s NBI report provides yet another insightful score-card for the UK. It shows that the overwhelming perception of Britain is positive and that our image is improving significantly in many of the countries in which we operate around the world,” said Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain. “All this underpins how important it is for VisitBritain to increase our efforts over the coming year if we are to continue to climb up the world rankings and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

“Particularly encouraging is the news that Canadians have improved their assessment of the UK in terms of both Culture and People, ranking us third for both,” says Ted Flett, VisitBritain’s Public Relations & Communications Manager – Canada. “Of further note here is the fact that the Canadians have improved their view of Brits by a massive six places. Though Canada holds the number one position, the UK now sits behind Canada, Australia and the US in the overall People Index, an improvement of two spots from 2010.”

While the NBI report has given a much needed boost to the UK as it approaches a critical year for tourism, it has also highlighted areas for improvement if it is to remain one of the most desired destinations. Responses among the survey panel about Britain’s natural beauty (an unchanged ranking of 22nd) dragged down the Tourism Index score and suggests more could be done to help educate visitors about the diversity of Britain’s rich landscape.

Despite progress being seen in the perceived welcome by Brits (ranked 12th, up one slot from 2010), questions still remain on how warm that welcome is and what can be done to improve the perception of UK’s overall friendliness.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

pressandpr@visitbritain.com

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