VisitBritain has welcomed the UK maintaining of fourth place as an overall brand out of 50 nations behind the US, Germany and France.
The tourism body was responding to the annual Nation Brand Index 2010 survey (NBI), which is based on interviews with 20,000 people worldwide.
Seen as an important indicator of how countries are regarded by the public, the survey acts as a report card, measuring the world’s perception of each nation as if they were commercial brands.
The US retained first place as the best overall brand, having been propelled to the top spot last year largely by the power of President Barack Obama and his administration, while Germany and France swapped places.
The UK was ranked fourth in the world for being ‘rich in historic buildings and monuments’ and for having a ‘vibrant city life and urban attractions.’
Britain also retained its fifth position as a desirable tourism destination.
When respondents were asked which country they would like to visit ‘if money were no object’ the UK retained its eighth spot.
On being ‘rich in natural beauty,’ the UK has climbed one place to 23rd.
Britain’s reputation for offering a warm welcome remains good but not outstanding in 13th position, according to VisitBritain.
But culture remains a powerful attraction for overseas visitors. The UK retained seventh place for having a ‘rich cultural heritage’, fourth for being an ‘interesting and exciting place for contemporary culture such as music, films, art and literature’ and eighth for ‘excelling at sports’.
VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: “This result is a testament to the enduring appeal of Britain.
“It is clear that we are retaining our appeal in an increasingly competitive world market. With more governments recognising tourism as a driver of growth and ramping up their international marketing it is striking that our ratings are remaining steady.
“The Brands Index shows clearly what our very considerable strengths are but also the things we have to work on. It is reassuring to see that we have climbed one place in terms of being rich in natural beauty. We need to do more to highlight the diverse range of stunning landscapes across Britain.”
But she added: “We cannot rest on our laurels, however.
“Our ‘welcome’ ranking at 13th suggests we still need to work hard on this aspect ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“But at the same time there is a great opportunity for us to introduce the world to the many surprises and delights that exploring more of Britain’s natural beauty can offer.”
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