Top tourist attractions recognised by travellers

Egypt extends tourism subsidies

New study identifies images most associated with destinations and how they can be used to increase bookings

In a comprehensive study conducted by Distinctive BAT, a leading distinctive brand asset research agency, the most recognisable and distinctive symbols associated with countries were discerned from a sample of over 1,000 international travellers.

The aim was to gauge their ability to recognise and correctly attribute a broad range of images related to countries in order to support tourism marketing.

Utilising the metrics of Asset Recognition and Brand Attribution minus Misattribution (referred to as the BAT score), the study uncovered the world's most distinctive tourism assets and their BAT scores are: 

  1. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza – 190
  2. Egypt’s Great Sphinx of Giza – 188
  3. The United Kingdom’s King Charles III – 187
  4. The United Kingdom’s Royal Guard – 182
  5. France’s Eiffel Tower – 179
  6. Italy’s Pizza – 175
  7. Mexico’s Mariachi Bands – 175
  8. Australia’s Kangaroo – 173
  9. Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa – 172
  10. Spain’s Bullfighting – 169

The highest possible BAT score is 200, demonstrating 100% Asset Recognition, 100% Brand Attribution and 0% Misattribution.

Egypt boasts a number of Distinctive Brand Assets, most notably the ancient structures of the Great Pyramid and Great Sphinx of Giza, which can be effectively leveraged in tourism advertising campaigns. 

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These icons also help to keep their country top of mind anytime they appear in culture, effectively acting as free advertising media whenever they appear in a movie or a magazine. The more assets a country has and, more importantly the more they feature in people’s memories, the more likely these countries are to come to mind when consumers think about booking holiday destinations.

King Charles III, emblematic of the United Kingdom's royal heritage, emerges as a strong performer, emphasising the crown's significance to brand UK, with the Royal Guard also scoring very high. 

Misattribution poses a challenge when imagery is more generic, as seen by confusion surrounding the Northern Lights. Most commonly, this scenery was attributed to Iceland, though there was also significant association with Norway, Finland, Canada, the USA, and even Antarctica, but not Sweden. 

As a result, Nordic countries should be careful in leaning too much on the Northern Lights in advertising; they could just be nudging along their neighbours as tourist destinations.

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