The best proof comes from the Country Brand Index of 2010, sponsored by FutureBrand and the BBC World News. From their report (not directly online; you can request it here:)
The Country Brand Index is an annual study that examines and ranks country brands, based on FutureBrand’s proprietary research methodology.Israel ranking this year shot up from #41 to #30.
The sixth edition of CBI incorporates a global quantitative research study with 3,400 international business and leisure travellers from 13 countries on all five continents, qualified by in-depth expert focus groups that took place in 14 major metropolitan areas around the world. The overall country brand score is calculated using FutureBrand’s Hierarchical Decision Model (HDM), which measures overall country brand performance in the following areas:
Do key audiences know that the country exists? How top of mind is it?
How well do people know the country and what it offers?
What qualities come to mind when people think of the country?
We look at the measured perceptions of five key association dimensions:
• HERITAGE AND CULTURE
• GOOD FOR BUSINESS
• QUALITY OF LIFE
• VALUE SYSTEM
How highly do audiences esteem the country? Does it resonate?
Is this one of the countries being thought about for a visit?
DECISION / VISITATION:
To what extent do people follow through and visit the country?
Do visitors recommend the country to family, friends and colleagues?
Not only does it rank far higher than every Arab and Muslim country save one (the UAE fell from #23 to #28), but it rose more positions in 2010 than any nation except for Chile, which gained a lot of visibility for the miners' rescue and jumped 19 places on the list.
The BDS movement has nt only been ineffective - it has backfired.
Egypt went down 13 spots (45 to 58), Jordan down eight (67 to 75), Syria down five (82 to 87), and Iran plummeted from 98 to 109, the second worst ranking in the list next to Zimbabwe.
Israel (#30 +11) received significant marketing investment for tourist destinations. Israel moves in the right direction in 2010 – particularly in Tourism metrics like Authenticity and History, which align very well with campaigns promoting heritage and culture.
I guess that this means that most people realize that historic Jerusalem is in Israel despite the efforts of one advertising board to pretend otherwise.
(h/t VC Cafe)