Australia ranked #1 brand… again!
Australia has been ranked as the World’s Top Country Brand for the third consecutive year, according to the 2008 Country Brand Index (CBI) that will be officially released at London’s World Travel Market.
Rising from its sixth place ranking last year, Canada came second with the United States rounding out the top three country brands in the 2008 study. Other countries making the top 10 include Italy, Switzerland and France.
The CBI explores how countries are branded and ranked according to key criteria, and identifies emerging global trends in the world’s fastest growing economic sector – travel and tourism, which accounts for US$5.9 trillion of economic activity worldwide this year and more than 238 million jobs.
The study of approximately 2700 international business and leisure travellers from nine countries is conducted by FutureBrand, a global brand consultancy, in conjunction with public relations firm Weber Shandwicks Global Travel & Lifestyle Practice.
“In this our fourth year, it is exciting to see many countries embracing the idea of brand. However, we still feel this is a largely underdeveloped category with most countries continuing to promote and market themselves in ways that are not differentiated.
Particularly in the coming years, country brands must improve both their strategic orientation as well as their delivery,” says Rina Plapler, senior executive director of FutureBrand.
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, but what is missing is the bottom 10 – how can a country improve its brand standing if it doesn’t know where it stands?