News for the Hospitality Executive
Countries are Brands Too!
Australia Ranks #1 For World's Top Country Brand
Croatia, China and the United Arab Emirates Named
‘Rising Stars’ for Tourist Destinations
|LONDON - November 12, 2007 --- With the kick-off of London’s
World Travel Market this week – the premier global travel and tourism convention
– the big questions on the minds of tourism and hospitality professionals
are: “What countries have the best reputations and which ones rank in the
top 10 list of desired country brands when it comes to travel?” The answers
might surprise you.
According to this year’s Country Brand Index (CBI), Australia once again earned the coveted spot as the world’s top country brand, with the United States ranking second and the United Kingdom ascending to third. Other countries making the top 10 included Japan, Canada, France and Greece. The CBI also identified Croatia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the top three “rising stars” – those likely to become a major tourist destination in the next five years. Also making the list this year are Cuba, Iceland, and the Russian Federation.
CBI, now in its third year, is a comprehensive study of more than 2,600 international travelers conducted by FutureBrand, a leading global brand consultancy, in conjunction with public relations firm Weber Shandwick’s Global Travel & Lifestyle Practice. CBI examines how countries are branded and ranked according to key criteria. This year’s index includes rankings and trends as well as travel motivations, challenges and opportunities within the worlds of travel, tourism and country branding (visit http://www.countrybrandindex.com for complete results).
“A strong country brand provides an opportunity for a country to showcase its values across every government sector,” said Rina Plapler, executive director, FutureBrand. “In this year’s Country Brand Index we detail how multifaceted countries are as brands, and how they require specific frameworks, typologies and the use of considered semiotics.”
2007 CBI Top Country Brands
1. AustraliaThis year’s CBI touches on a variety of topics relevant to travelers and tourism professionals alike ? from the most environmentally oriented country brand (Sweden) to the country brand in which they would most like to do business (United States). The Index also takes an in-depth look at the “State of Brand U.S.” and how it seesaws between a brand in decline and one that’s becoming more powerful and popular on the global stage.
“A country’s brand reputation is in itself a powerful currency. Reputation drives financial and business investment, sustainable growth and helps add fuel to the private and retail sectors,” said René A. Mack, president, Weber Shandwick’s Travel & Lifestyle Global Practice. “A visitor is the most powerful marketer for any country brand. They import the destination and its products and experiences directly into their homes, offices and social communities, combined with the most powerful voice of all – word of mouth.”
The following are key highlights from this year’s Country Brand Index. The top five countries are listed in rank order for each category:
2007 Country Brand Index Rankings Highlights
NEW TOURISM TRENDS TAKE ON HUMANITARIAN/ECO-FRIENDLY CAUSES
Participants in this year’s Country Brand Index also highlighted a number of emerging trends in travel and tourism that include:
• Voluntourism in Demand – As a response to disaster aid, growing
global village consciousness and a need to contribute to society in ways
big and small, more travelers are planning their trips around humanitarian
purposes. From building homes and teaching English to working at refugee
camps and participating in animal conservation research, the menu of volunteer
vacation options is growing.
• 24/7 Brand Life – Now brands outside the hospitality sector are extending into the destination business and creating offerings that allow people to live that brand 24/7. Fashion labels such as Armani and Versace first infused hotels with their signature aesthetics from Dubai to Australia. Today, luxury car companies are following suit. For example, Ferrari has teamed up with Aldar Properties to launch an entertainment development in Abu Dhabi in 2008. With a racetrack, rides and simulators, the destination invites visitors of all ages to explore Ferrari and the company’s history. The complex will also feature hotels, retail, residential and hospitality components that extend the brand in multiple ways and take inspiration from Ferrari car designs.
About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a unit of The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), which is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies.
|Also See:||The Marketing of Vietnam - The Developing, Positioning and Branding of Vietnam's Tourist Assets / Dietmar Kielnhofer Ph.D / July 2007|
|First Three Year Review of Istria's Tourism Plan... Plenty of Opportunities for Hoteliers / January 2007|