Canada has taken over from the United States as the most respected country brand in the world, the Canadian Tourism Commission said Friday, thanks to an aggressive $26-million ad campaign focused on the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier this year.
The ranking is based on the annual Country Brand Index from New York-based branding consultancy and research firm FutureBrand, which includes a survey of more than 3,000 international business and leisure travellers.
Canada, in 12th place in 2006, had leapfrogged to second place by 2008 before getting a shot at the top spot.
Michele McKenzie, chief executive with the Canadian Tourism Commission, will pick up the award at an awards ceremony on Nov. 11 in London, England.
"Several years ago, CTC set out to refresh Canada's tourism brand in anticipation of being on the world stage in 2010," Ms. McKenzie said in a release. "We believed that, with the right strategy, a legacy of the Games could be more interest in Canada as a travel destination, and ultimately more visitors."
The CTC's Olympic strategy runs to the end of 2012, and was funded by $26-million from the federal government.
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