“Nation Brand” and its effect on tourism flow

Mandatory vaccine and its effect on international tourism ( Part II)

Nation branding aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries (closely related to place branding). In the book Diplomacy in a Globalizing World: Theories and Practices, the authors define nation branding as “the application of corporate marketing concepts and techniques to countries, in the interests of enhancing their reputation in international relations.”

Many nations try to make brands in order to build relationships between different actors that are not restricted to nations. It extends to public and private sectors in a nation and helps with nationalism. States also want to participate in multilateral projects. Getting It Right aims to inspire listeners to think differently about brands, brand strategy and brand growth. It could affect tourism flow positively or negatively.

Marketing expert tells us the importance of branding in business. This same concept must be applied when attracting tourists to a destination. Many other factors are taking into consideration; however, branding must never be ignored.

This year’s Nation Brands Index raking was release recently and unfortunately Ghana did not make it to the list for the best 50 countries in the world. The best country in Africa was Egypt followed by Morocco, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Nigeria respectively. This means in West Africa, Nigeria came first. We need to know what is Nigerian doing right to be number in the sub-region.

Tourism was not the only determinants; however, it played a key role in the overall score. Africa still cannot compete with the rest of the world when it comes to international arrivals considering our close to 5% arrivals. With COVID-19 having had a big challenge on tourism thus reducing the numbers further down arrivals, with the introduction of the COVID-19 Vaccines, and as tourism rebounds globally, it is imperative that we begin considering the overall branding of Ghana thereby make the destination more appealing to international tourists. our goal must be to move up above our competitors in next year’s rankings.

I know the Ministry and the GTA are on track in helping project brand Ghana. With Ghana’s digitization drive in full force, tourism industry players must also take advantage in changing the way we approach tourism marketing. Digital and social media marketing must be considered in reaching out to visitors and that will also be another great way of projecting brand Ghana. Below is the summary of the report.

Digital Estonia is world’s fastest-growing nation brand

Recording a 38% brand value growth from last year and outpacing modest increases across the ranking, Estonia is the world’s fastest-growing nation brand of 2021. The Baltic state had invested in digital infrastructure long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Anyone around the world can apply for e-residency in Estonia, which allows them to run an EU-based company online, and a staggering 99% of the country’s governmental services are offered online.

The advanced digitization of the country put it on the front foot during the pandemic. On the same day the government announced a state of emergency, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications launched an online hackathon to identify solutions to pandemic-induced problems, resulting in a chatbot to answer the public’s queries and the re-purposing of online platforms to match volunteers with those in need.

Myanmar and Ethiopia are fastest fallers

In stark contrast, Myanmar and Ethiopia are among the fastest-falling nation brands in the ranking. The unrest across the two countries has caused significant damage to their nation brand values, which have dropped 26% and 22%, respectively.

Germany maintains top “nation brand” ranking, Canada and Japan overtook the UK to round out the top three

Germany ranks in first place out of 60 countries on the Nation Brands Index, for the seventh time overall and fifth year in a row. Germany is the highest ranked NBI nation in 2008, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. With another first place ranking this year, Germany has now tied the United States’ record of seven years as the top NBI nation. Germany’s reputational strengths lie on the Exports, Immigration and Investment, Governance, and Culture categories. Global respondents feel particularly positive about buying German products, the appeal of investing in German businesses, the employability of German people, the German government’s work to fight poverty, and exceling in sports, placing Germany in the top-two in all five categories in 2021.

Canada’s top marks on governance, people, and immigration and investment

For the past couple of years, Canada has rounded out the top three, landing in third place. NBI 2021 is the first time that Canada has moved up to second place. First place rankings on the Governance, People, and Immigration and Investment indices, as well as relatively steady rankings on Exports, Tourism, and Culture contributed to Canada’s record ranking in 2021.

The United States reputation slowly recovers

The United States had one of the most notable declines on overall NBI in 2020, dropping from sixth in 2019 to 10th. Its fall was triggered by sharp decreases on Governance, Tourism, and Immigration and Investment. A year later, despite the pandemic still being very much prevalent in the U.S., a wide political divide in society, and persistent vaccine hesitancy, the United States reputation has begun to rebound and improved on each of these categories.

Japan and Italy climb in ranking

Japan and Italy are two nations in the top 10 with noteworthy improvements on the overall NBI rank. Japan made its debut in the top three for the first time since 2018 and has climbed from fourth in 2020 to third this year with positive perceptions on Exports, Tourism, Culture, and People. Italy advanced from sixth to fourth place with strong opinions on its Culture, Tourism, and People.

Desire to visit increases

The overall intensity in desire to visit countries around the world – if money was no object – has grown over time. A longitudinal analysis of 50 Nation Brands Index (NBI) countries between 2015 and 2020, and 60 measured nations in 2021, demonstrates how desire to travel declined between 2015-2016, increased between 2016-2018, only to decline again between 2018-2020. However, in 2021, levels of desire to visit have increased to its highest point.

All 60 NBI nations scores and rankings

For the first time in Nation Brands Index history, the full list of nations rankings and scores is published to provide sufficient context for potential movement with the addition of 10 new countries. The global sample size has expanded from 20,000 interviews per year to 60,000 interviews per year. Within each panel country, this corresponds to an increased sample from 1,000 interviews to 3,000 interviews. The number of measured nations has also expanded, with 60 nations being measured in 2021, up from 50 in previous years. Even with these improvements, we retained methodological consistency with previous years to allow for consistent trending capabilities, new opportunities for comparative assessments, and depth of analysis.

How did your country rank?

2020 Rank* 2021 Rank NBI 2020 Score* 2021 Score
1 1 Germany 69.12 71.06
3 2 Canada 67.86 70.64
4 3 Japan 67.81 70.52
6 4 Italy 67.11 70.23
2 5 United Kingdom 68.15 70.08
5 6 France 67.59 70.00
7 7 Switzerland 66.68 69.76
10 8 United States 65.67 69.67
8 9 Sweden 65.83 69.04
9 10 Australia 65.76 68.55
11 11 Spain 64.91 67.87
14 12 Norway 64.06 67.50
13 13 Netherlands 64.09 66.61
12 14 New Zealand 64.13 66.58
16 15 Finland 62.62 66.15
15 16 Austria 62.62 66.11
17 17 Scotland 62.60 65.79
19 18 Belgium 61.52 64.85
18 19 Ireland 61.70 64.79
20 Iceland 63.92
20 21 Greece 60.42 63.88
21 22 Wales 59.78 62.50
23 23 South Korea 58.51 61.50
22 24 Northern Ireland 59.16 61.27
24 25 Singapore 58.07 60.82
25 26 Poland 57.27 59.50
26 27 Russia 56.80 59.06
29 28 Brazil 56.16 58.88
28 29 Argentina 56.37 58.84
27 30 Czech Republic 56.52 58.72
35 31 China 54.00 57.93
30 32 Hungary 55.82 57.79
32 33 Taiwan 55.14 57.78
31 34 Thailand 55.34 57.46
33 35 Mexico 54.90 57.45
36 36 Egypt 53.92 56.88
37 Slovakia 56.83
37 38 Turkey 53.87 56.38
39 39 Chile 53.32 55.90
34 40 India 54.03 55.57
38 40 Peru 53.44 55.57
42 Morocco 55.13
41 43 Indonesia 52.70 54.87
40 44 South Africa 53.18 54.84
42 45 United Arab Emirates 52.30 54.77
45 Latvia 54.77
47 Israel 54.11
43 48 Ukraine 52.14 54.00
49 Dominican Republic 53.82
46 50 Qatar 50.25 53.52
44 51 Panama 51.21 53.17
45 52 Colombia 51.15 52.91
53 Ecuador 52.83
54 Mongolia 52.23
47 55 Saudi Arabia 49.19 51.74
48 56 Kenya 49.11 51.52
57 Tanzania 50.99
49 58 Botswana 48.26 49.86
50 59 Nigeria 47.37 48.23
60 Palestine 46.73

*2020 NBI Index Scores and Ranks reflect a correction to the scores released in the 2020 Anholt-Ipsos NBI press release.  2020 scores and ranks were erroneously calculated using 22 panel country results as opposed to 20 panel countries for consistency in tracking.  This correction results in minor score changes of less than 1 point, as well as select ranking adjustments.

Philip Gebu is a Tourism Lecturer. He is the C.E.O of FoReal Destinations Ltd, a Tourism Destinations Management and Marketing Company based in Ghana and with partners in many other countries. Please contact Philip with your comments and suggestions. Write to [email protected] / [email protected]. Visit our website at www.forealdestinations.com or call or WhatsApp +233(0)244295901/0264295901.Visit our social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: FoReal Destinations


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