Known for good governance, Finland improves its image in tourism

Over the past decade, Finland has improved its ranking in the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index study from 18th to 15th place. The study of people’s images of 60 countries shows that Finland is on the rise, especially as a country to live in or visit.

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index was launched in 2005. It is a comprehensive tool used to measure and rank people’s images of 60 countries. In the 2023 survey, Finland ranks 15th, rising one place compared with the previous year’s results. The rank consists of the scores Finland received in six different categories: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism, and Investment and Immigration.

Greatest improvement in image of Finland as a country to live in or visit

Like before, Finland is held in high regard on the basis of equality and protecting the environment. In addition to these themes, Finland ranks among the top 10 countries in attributes concerning the fair treatment of citizens, competent and honest governance, peace and security, high quality of life, and the reduction of world poverty. The most positive development from the year before took place in image related to living and working in Finland. Finland also shows above-average improvement in the indices related to Tourism.

“Finland’s country image consistently performs well in relation to its size. It is important that Finland is known for the right things. In these times, a strong country image not only creates opportunities for us, but also provides security,” says Mikko Koivumaa, Director General of Communications at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Finland Promotion Board, which coordinates Finland’s country image work.

Images of good governance have been Finland’s key strength throughout the history of the Nation Brand Index study. Although Finland’s overall rank has varied between 18th and 15th, in Governance, Finland’s best rank has been sixth out of 60 countries. In the 2023 study, however, Finland’s score in terms of Governance indices fell significantly compared to the previous year, and Finland’s rank fell by two places compared to other countries.

Images related to Culture are the greatest weakness of Finland’s nation brand. Finland ranks 26th in the category measuring Culture indices. The weakest individual results are related to historic buildings and Finnish cultural heritage, in which Finland achieved rankings of 36 and 29, respectively. Nevertheless, there has been some minor improvement in the image related to contemporary culture, urban culture and sports.

Image varies by country

The study also provides much information about the varying perceptions of Finland in different countries. German and Swedish people hold the most positive perceptions of Finland and the Finns. Saudi Arabia and South Africa, on the other hand, rated Finland clearly less positively than other countries. In 2019, Russians still valued Finland higher than the average but, in the 2023 survey, Finland fell from the top 10 to the bottom 10 in several attributes related to society and people.

The Nation Brands Index is a valued and comprehensive country brand survey, for which more than 60,000 people are interviewed in 20 countries around the world. This year’s research interviews were conducted from 27 July to 3 August 2023. The survey does not make GDP adjustments but compares Finland directly with large nations such as the United States, which scored nine places ahead of Finland in these results. Of the Nordic countries covered in the survey, Sweden has the highest scores, coming 10th, while all the Nordic countries are within five places of each other.

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