Sporting summer boosts Britain's global image

New research has revealed that London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has had a profound effect on the world’s perception of Great Britain as a whole.

Britain’s rating as a ‘welcoming’ nation jumped from 12th place up to 9th in the National Brands Index (NBI) – a study from VisitBritain which classifies 50 of the world’s leading nations around six core categories. Telegraph.co.uk says this is the first time the UK has ever made the top ten.

Comparing results from July 2012 and after the Games, the study aimed to measure just how much of an impact major sporting events carry when it comes to advertising a nation.

Results from visitbritain.com paint a picture of enormous success, as 63 per cent of respondents now wish to visit the country after seeing what it can offer. This indicates that not only will tourism chiefs see an improvement in visitor figures this year, but London-based firms offering conference space and venues for hire could also piggyback on the success of the Games. 

Meanwhile other readings suggest that Britain’s “Overall Nation Brand” along with its sporting and cultural credentials have received a boost courtesy of both Games. A resounding 14 out of 15 panel countries ranked the UK in the top 10 for NBI, with “Overall Nation Brand and “Culture” both moving up a place.

Britain’s reputation as a tourism hotspot held its position in fourth, while the “People” remained fifth.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said the tourist board’s marketing efforts had more then paid off and claimed prospects for 2013 were looking strong.

“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.”