A study commissioned by VisitBritain and its partners in the GREAT campaign suggests that global perception of Britain significantly improved during 2012.
Hosting the 2012 Olympic Games has seen global perceptions of Britain’s ‘overall national brand’ and its sporting and cultural credentials elevate.
Nations Brand Index (NBI) research rates 50 of the world’s leading nations around six core categories. Research was carried out before and after the Games in the hopes of finding out how a country’s international image can change before and after hosting a major sporting event.
According to the research, Britain’s ‘welcome’ saw the biggest jump, moving from twelfth place to ninth, pre and post-Games respectively. Additionally, 14 of the 15 panel countries rank the UK with the top 10 on the overall NBI, with nine countries – including USA, China, Japan, Russia and India – placing the country in the top three post-Games.
63 per cent said the Olympics had increased their interest of visiting for a holiday, with 75 per cent of those saying that they want to see more than just London.
Chief executive of VisitBritain Sandie Dawe said: “London’s hosting of the Games, the amazing opening and closing ceremonies and the warmth of welcome shown to our international visitors have combined to boost our global image.
“With our partners we have taken every opportunity to promote Britain to overseas audiences through our GREAT marketing campaign, our digital activity on Facebook and Twitter and by inviting foreign travel journalists to write about Britain. This work is now paying off with post Games visitor figures significantly up on last year, and prospects for 2013 looking strong.
“Britain is already an established visitor destination and our tourism ranking is high. The goal this year was to maintain rankings in culture and heritage where we are strong, and improve in areas such as the warmth of our welcome where we had room for improvement. We intend to build on these encouraging results to ensure we turn that increased goodwill into visitors and deliver a growth in tourism that will deliver jobs across the country.”
Culture secretary Maria Miller added: “The summer of 2012 put the UK firmly in the global spotlight, allowing us to shape international perceptions and show the best of Britain. These results are very encouraging, and show that the UK’s sporting and cultural credentials have significantly improved thanks to London 2012. We are determined to deliver a lasting economic legacy for the whole country, boosting tourism and growth.”