The latest results from July's Anholt GfK Nations Brand Index study (NBI) show that Britain has moved up three places in the 'welcome' category to number 10 with Australia and Canada - widely recognised as two of the most welcoming countries in the world - putting Britain in fourth place while South Africa and the USA both put the nation in fifth place.
More than 20,000 people from 20 countries were questioned on their perception of 50 of the world's leading nations, with categories including 'natural beauty', 'historic buildings' and 'sport'.
Britain also scored highly on the sport category, with the German's showing a growing respect for our sporting credentials, upping their ranking to fifth place. Overall our nation, which will host a number of major sporting events in the next year such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, rose one place to fifth in sport.
Traditionally strong categories, such as 'culture', 'tourism' and 'people' continued to be rated highly, with Britain holding on to third place for 'overall nation brand’ and fourth for ‘culture’, ‘tourism’ and ‘people’. Eighteen of the 20 panel countries rated Britain’s 'overall nation brand’ in the top 10 this year, whilst fifteen ranked us in the top five. The Polish ranked Britain first for ‘overall nation brand’ for another year'.
High on the wish list for a large proportion of those taking an international trip is a destination with beautiful scenery. Britain has risen by two places in terms of being ‘rich in natural beauty’ to a ranking of twentieth – placing it in the top 20 for the first time.
Natural beauty is generally seen as one of the nation’s weaker tourism areas and the only category in which Britain doesn’t rank in the top 10. Among Germans, Britain has jumped up five places (to twenty-second) and VisitBritain research shows that ‘natural beauty’ is an important holiday driver for this key market.
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “These 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 historically weaker 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.”
Minister for Tourism Helen Grant added: “Great Britain has a huge amount to offer tourists - spectacular scenery, world class museums, fantastic sport, incredible theatre and welcoming people. It is encouraging that over a year on from London 2012 we have enhanced our reputation even further. Tourism is a crucial part of our economic growth strategy and it’s important that we continue to champion the best of Britain to the world.”