The Great Debate UK
It is clear Britain got a ‘bounce’ from the Olympics, but much more is needed to secure long-term economic legacy
–Andrew Hammond is an Associate Partner at ReputationInc. He was formerly a UK Government Special Adviser, and a Senior Consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.–
Six months since the London 2012 games began, a flurry of research has indicated that the UK’s international image has received a boost from hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. Most recently, the latest Anholt GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, released on January 17, showed that the United Kingdom edged up from fifth to fourth place since July 2012 in the survey’s overall country reputation rankings; only the United States, Germany and France currently have a more favourable nation brand.
Key research findings from this study, which follows similar IPSOS Mori research in December, include that international perceptions of the United Kingdom as a ‘welcoming’ nation have significantly improved. This is reflected, for instance, in the fact that 63% of international respondents to the Anholt GfK survey said that London 2012 had increased their own interest in visiting the United Kingdom.
This positive news follows an ICM opinion poll released in December which revealed that the UK public remains very strongly supportive of hosting the games last year. Over three quarters of UK respondents agreed that London 2012 was “well worth the [multi-billion pounds] cost”, and a similar percentage believed the games “did a valuable job in cheering up a country in hard times”.