Australia Takes No. 1 Spot on List of National Travel Brands

Canada. U.S., Italy and Switzerland round out FutureBrand's top 5

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For the third consecutive year, the Land Down Under has come out on top of FutureBrand's look at the strongest tourism brands. The study takes into account a host of quantitative measures such as awareness and preference, as well as qualitative factors such as associations. As you might expect, Australia's associations are things like natural beauty, outdoor activity and friendly locals. And you might recall that that the country's tourism body has just launched a splashy campaign from Aussie director Baz Luhrmann.

The study, which can be requested here, is chockablock with facts and figures on tourism and digs into individual country brands. My favorite list was the ranking of countries with the highest ratio of desire-to-visit to safety, making them the least safest among countries that people want to go to. The top 10 in this department are Israel, Kenya, Russia, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, China, Mexico, Cuba and Ecuador. They averaged twice the tourism growth of the safest popular destinations, which are: Belgium, Malta, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland.

The risings stars in the study, not surprisingly, are economically and politically developing nations such as China, the United Arab Emirates and Croatia, while India, Vietnam and Cuba were new to the list.

Here's the top 10:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. United States
  4. Italy
  5. Switzerland
  6. France
  7. New Zealand
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Japan
  10. Sweden
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