Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The World's Most Well-Liked Countries

Studies show that attitudes are changing around the world about certain countries, including the United States. While Chicago may have been dropped quite quickly from the line-up of Olympic possibles this time around, surveys have shown that the American approval rating has blossomed outside of the States: French approval rating of the U.S. went from 42 percent in 2008 to 75 percent this year, and in Britain, the numbers went from 53 percent to 69 percent. In fact, this is the first time that the United States has taken the place of honor as one of the top five most-liked countries in the world, along with countries like the United Kingdom, Japan, and France.

These top-ranking spots aren't just popular, but are considered tourist hot-spots with a ton to give. If you've looking for somewhere to visit that offers rich history and plenty of tourist watering holes along the way, it's time to see what countries made the cut--you might be surprised! From the adventurous tourist to the business traveler, we all want a little comfort--and some good food, too.

Curious where you should be staying if you're going by popularity ratings? Here are some of the most popular countries in the world, for your consideration:

Switzerland (8)
Anholt, of the 2009 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, stated that Switzerland is seen as "massively desirable" as a tourist location, and surely the sweeping mountain vistas and high quality of living help. Considering how many languages are spoken there, you just might find yourself feeling right at home amongst the Alps. One line of advice: a high-quality camera is crucial for your trip to Switzerland.

Italy remains an extremely popular location for visiting and longer-term vacationing. With its strong culture and heritage, it remains an acquired taste, but an acquired taste by many. If there's one place you should visit at least once in your life, many would argue that it would have to be Italy. High-quality leather goods, spectacles, fashion, and other crafts make this destination great for shoppers.

Japan (5)
Japan's great products, Anholt believes, makes them easily recognized and respected world-round. From cars to gadgets, Japan's the place for tech buffs, and the country also scored extremely high in the way of culture. As the only Asian country in the top 10, they have a lot about which to be proud. (And, just as a note, China jumped size spots closer, from place 28 to 22, in one year.)

France (2)
Sure, the French aren't revered for their hospitality, but they've remained at the second-place hotspot for two years on the Anholt Survey. What makes France so very popular with tourists is their culture and their accessibility--as well as their love of fine cuisine. Interestingly, Anholt also cited French President Sarkozy's marriage to model Carla Bruni as being intriguing to the rest of the world--the stuff of soap operas, he said.

United States (1)
Formerly in seventh place for the world's most well-liked countries, the United States has now been ranked number one! While Obama's "honeymoon" with the American public has been well-publicized, Anholt stated that he believes the U.S. position was artificially lowered last year due to the worldwide approval rating of George W. Bush. It feels good to be on top again, and doesn't that make planning your vacation just a little bit easier?

Where will you be headed on vacation, now that you've seen the rankings?

1 comment:

  1. Most countries in the top 10 scored fairly well in every area, but with exceptional strength in one category. For example, Australia, with its enviable beaches, mountains and distinctive cityscapes, is "a tourist destination to die for," says Anholt. And while the French aren't, for the most part, thought of as particularly friendly or warm,