By Samuel Sanya
An international survey reveals that Uganda ranks highly in “search engine appeal” in the fields of Tourism and Investment, making the country more likely to attract tourists and international investors than its African counterparts.
The Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking survey for the year 2013 is based on global research that measures, among other variables, the number of searches produced every year by potential tourists and investors about every nation.
In Trade, Uganda is found in the 13th position only second to Tanzania in the 11th position but better than Kenya in the 15th spot.
Investors were more interested in “corruption level”, “growing economy” and “natural resources”.
Rwanda is ranked 26th and Burundi is ranked 43rd in a total 45 African countries.
Nigeria topped the trade charts for trade in Africa but came 35th in the world.
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A total 187 countries were surveyed with the US and China coming first and second respectively. Uganda came 97th in the international trade rankings.
“This ranking does not try to measure solely country brand perception. The objective of this ranking is to classify how well each and every country is doing in terms of branding, that is, to measure how effective their brands are in the most tangible and realistic manner,” the report says.
On the tourism front, Uganda ranks 8th in Africa behind Kenya at 4th and Tanzania at 6th, however, despite having a lower tourism budget Uganda beat Ethiopia to the 10th spot.
Rwanda is ranked 19th and Burundi is ranked 42nd in Africa. The US and Spain were ranked first and second respectively as the top tourism countries by internet searches.
According to the report, Uganda’s tourism ranking is high because it is offering a tourism experience based on natural wonders and safari.
The most popular online searches unsurprisingly were about “safari”, “hiking” and “protected areas”.
José Filipe Torres, the Bloom Consulting CEO noted that in 2012 alone, investors made around 63 million while tourists made 375 million online searches related to investment and tourism activities respectively at a country level.
He noted that a recent Google study indicates that 70% of leisure travelers begin researching their trip online. Another report from the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that more than 58% of investors assess investment risk online.
“Imagine the insight you can gain from this data and the conclusions you can draw. This is a clear indicator that countries, regions and cities, regardless of their size, can impact investors and decision makers in a completely new way, compared to 5 years ago,” Torres says in the report.
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Uganda ranks high for online searches on trade and tourism