Australia, U.S. and Italy are top brands

Australia ranks as the top overall
country brand, according to the second annual Country Brand Index 2006 released at World Travel Market.The United States and Italy ranked second and third,
respectively. The CBI identifies countries as brands and emerging global
travel trends in the world’s fastest-growing economic sector(1)—travel
and tourism. This sector accounts for more than one in every 11 jobs
worldwide. The CBI also identified China, Croatia and the United Arab
Emirates as the top three “rising star” countries—those likely to be
major tourism destinations in the next five years.
  Developed by FutureBrand, a leading global brand consultancy, in
conjunction with public relations firm Weber Shandwick’s Global Travel
Practice, the global study of more than 1,500 international travelers,
travel industry experts and hospitality professionals examines how
countries can be branded and ranked according to key criteria. This year’s
CBI includes rankings, as well as emerging trends, travel motivations,
challenges and opportunities within the world of travel, tourism and
country branding.
  “Countries can no longer continue to see themselves as commodities. A
country brand is more than tourism. It is exports, investments, trade and
industry,” said Rina Plapler, executive director, FutureBrand. “We continue
to believe that branding is a tremendous opportunity for both developed and
developing countries to build preference, consideration, loyalty and
                    CBI Highlights

  Best Country Brand for Authenticity           India
  Best Off-the-beaten-Track/Exotic Country Brand   Peru
  Best Country Brand for Families             U.S.
  Best Country Brand for Beaches             The Bahamas
  Best Country Brand for Natural Beauty         New Zealand
  Best Country Brand for Nightlife/Dining       Italy
  Best Country Brand for Shopping             U.S.
  Best Country Brand for Safety               Canada
  Best Country Brand for Value for Money         Thailand
  Best Country Brand to do Business           U.S.
  “If travel and tourism is the world’s second largest industry—often
driving entire national economies—governments should be focusing more
attention on how their destinations not only market themselves, but also
influence and improve the experience for every visitor,” said Rene A. Mack,
president of Weber Shandwick’s Global Travel Practice.