Canada’s ‘brand’ is the best in the world, new survey says

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew

Canada has the best country "brand" in the world, according to an international business consulting firm.

FutureBrand, with operations in New York, London and Singapore, ranked Canada atop its country brand index for the second straight year.

The federal government was quick to jump on the news, announced at the 32nd annual World Travel Market in London.

The index is compiled from what FutureBrand says is the most comprehensive study of how travelers perceive countries around the world. It surveyed 3,400 travellers on their views about 110 countries.

Switzerland came in second, followed by New Zealand, Japan, Australia, the United States, Sweden, Finland, France and Italy. Both Australia and the U.S. dropped down the rankings.

"Canada's continued rating at the top of FutureBrand's country brand index is a testament to our country's global appeal," Maxime Bernier, minister of state for small business and tourism, said in a statement.

"We have a wealth of compelling experiences for travellers, and our government is committed to sustaining this momentum by promoting Canada in innovative ways on the international stage."

The Canadian Tourism Commission trumpeted the recognition.

"According to the (index), the most important factors that truly differentiate a nation's brand are its associations and attributes: the qualities that people think of when they hear a country's name, read or see images of a location, or plan a business or leisure trip," the commission said on its web site.

"While Canada's tourism brand has grown into a powerful cultural force and a marketing tool to inspire visitation, it also has largely untapped potential as a lever to drive trade and investment in ideas, education and business," said commission president Michele McKenzie.

"In this period of global economic turbulence, by showing the world that Canada is a dynamic, modern and cosmopolitan society, we're not just inviting the world to visit us, we're capitalizing on our positive reputation to open new doors and create new opportunities."