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World City Brands Index

New York Bests Sydney and London to be Named World`s Top City – Launch of World City Brands Index Summarizes Health of Cities` Image

Travelpress.biz – Data from a survey released this week by global advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide finds

Travelpress.biz – Data from a survey released this week by global advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide finds  the British rate New York City as the best city “brand” in the world — above their own capital London. Sydney also gets Brits` stamp of approval, coming in just behind New York, and just above London.

Experts in branding with client experience that includes tourism accounts for Switzerland, Thailand, Singapore and Norway, Leo Burnett partnered with leading pollster YouGov to conduct the Leo Burnett World Cities Brand Index. The study polled 4,000 adults in the U.K. to understand their perceptions of 50 global cities based on five factors, which determine the overall health of a global city brand. New York squeezed out close-runners Sydney and London thanks largely to its best-in-class ranking in three of the five dimensions: vibrancy of the culture; attractiveness of the destination for a holiday and positive word-of-mouth. Sydney, home to the highly successful Olympics in 2000, scored well all round, but suffered comparatively when it came to perceptions about the city`s culture.

Other cities rounding out the top 10 list of the 50 leading city brands worldwide included Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Toronto and San Francisco, respectively.

Brits` London scored relatively highly across all dimensions contributing to brand strength, and came behind only New York and Rio de Janeiro in terms of `vibrancy of culture`. Somewhat counter intuitively, given the British propensity to complain about the weather, London polled the best score of all 50 cities when respondents were asked about the quality of its climate. What let the city down however was the degree to which those asked claimed to have heard positive `buzz` about their capital. London ranked 20th out of 50 cities on this question, behind Edinburgh, Dubai and Johannesburg – with less than 20 per cent of those questioned saying they often heard good things about the city.

Said Richard Pinder, president of Leo Burnett in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, “Cities are having to start thinking and acting more like brands than ever before. Increasingly they compete with each other for investment from global businesses, vie for the tourist dollar, struggle to attract world class talent – and as we`ve seen with the Olympic 2012 bid recently, fight tooth and nail for the right to host major global sporting events. You can`t place a high enough value on getting a city`s branding right today.”

Underscoring this, industry leaders have predicted that winning London`s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games could earn the UK more than £2bn in extra tourism revenue, while JPMorgan Asset Management has gone further and said that London can expect to see a lift of as much as 0.4 per cent in its GDP as a result of the Olympics coming to town. Much was also made during the bidding process for the Olympics 2012 of New York City`s claim that winning the bid would result in a regional economic impact of over $12 billion, and create over 135,000 jobs.

In the Leo Burnett ranking, what potentially reduced New York`s lead over other world cities in the top 10, were perceptions about quality of life in the city and the climate. Just 33 percent of respondents felt residents of the Big Apple had a good quality of life, placing the city in 17th place well behind Toronto (65 percent), Sydney (55 percent) and London (51 percent) on this dimension, while in terms of climate, New York ranked a 24th, far behind leaders London (1st), Barcelona (2nd) and Toronto (3rd).

Beirut – once famously dubbed the `Paris of the Middle East` – sits in unenviable 50th position in the chart, its image no doubt damaged following years of civil war.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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