According to the 2007 Country Brand Index (CBI), which was released ahead of this week’s World Travel Market in London, the UAE is one of the world’s top two shopping havens, and is among the top three countries with the highest potential to become a major tourist destination in the next five years.
Country Brand Index, now in its third year, is a comprehensive study of more than 2,600 international travellers conducted by FutureBrand, a leading global brand consultancy; in conjunction with public relations firm Weber Shandwick’s Global Travel & Lifestyle Practice. The Index examines how countries are branded and ranked according to key criteria, with this year’s index also including trends on travel motivations, as well as challenges and opportunities within the divisions of travel, tourism and country branding.
“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 describe how multifaceted countries act as brands, and how they require specific frameworks, typologies and the use of considered semiotics.”
Winning the Best Country Brand for the ‘Resort/Lodgings Options category, the UAE was recognised for its unrivalled reputation as the world’s leading resort and lodging destination. Mega projects such as the Palms and other distinct resort developments propelled the country to the highest position on the scale, narrowly beating the Maldives and Australia.
The UAE also placed second in the Best Country Brand for the Shopping category, just behind the top-ranking United States, while ahead of countries including Singapore, Italy and Japan. The UAE’s huge investments to build up its MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) facilities have also paid off, after the country placed within the top five in the category Best Country Brand for Conferences.
The UAE was also recognised for its trend-setting initiatives in travel and tourism, which aim to extend the brand experience in everyday life. For instance, world-renowned fashion labels such as Armani and Versace were the first to infuse their signature aesthetics among hotels in Dubai.
“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 UAE is the only GCC state cited in the Country Brand Index, and one of only two Middle East countries that have figured prominently on the Index. Egypt also made its mark by topping the Best Country Brand for History, and joining Italy and France among the top three in the Best Country Brand for Art and Culture. Australia is once again the world’s top country brand according to the Country Brand Index, with the United States at second and the United Kingdom ascending to third. Other countries making the list included Japan, Canada, France and Greece. Aside from the UAE, the Country Brand Index also identified Croatia, China, Cuba, Iceland and the Russian Federation as potential major tourist destinations in the next five years.
Monday, November 12- 2007 @ 11:12 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.