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Paris loses city top spot to London

UK capital still riding on Olympics boost while crime levels blight the City of Light

PARIS has lost its place at the head of the world’s top ‘brand’ cities.

The latest edition of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index, which measures cities by the opinion of visitors in several categories, saw the French capital slip to third place, behind London and Sydney.

London topped the biennial ranking. Possible reasons could include the afterglow of the Olympic Games and a consistent international presence with a string of historic milestones that include the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the birth of Prince George.

London took the top spot as the city where individual cultures are appreciated and where foreigners can "easily fit in”, while Sydney led the category for the world’s safest and friendliest city.

Paris failed to enter the top ten of the ‘safest and friendliest’ category, despite attempts to shed its image of being rude and surly.

This summer, the city’s chamber of commerce published an etiquette manual for Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers and sales staff on how to welcome international tourists. “...despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors,” the chamber admits.

Earlier this year, high-profile muggings of Asian tourists tarnished the city’s image, as did footage, broadcast worldwide, of football-related riots which broke out not far from the Eiffel Tower.

The city did come top in the category of ‘pulse’, which measures the perception that there are interesting things to fill free time with and how exciting the city is perceived to be in regard to new things to discover.

The City Brands index measures the value of a city’s international reputation across six categories: presence - its international status and standing; place – its climate, cleanliness and environment; pre-requisites – the level of affordable accommodation and infrastructure; people – the warmth of reception and safety of communities; potential – the perception of economic and educational opportunities and capacity for doing business; and the aforementioned pulse.

More than 5,140 interviews were conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK for the index.

Meanwhile, other notable movements on the index include Tokyo, which suffered a 7-spot drop from tenth place in 2011 to 17th place in 2013. Amsterdam, meanwhile, shot up the ranks from 17th spot to 11th position this year.

Here are the top 10 “best cities” for 2013:
1. London
2. Sydney
3. Paris
4. New York
5. Rome
6. Washington D.C.
7. Los Angeles
8. Toronto
9. Vienna
10. Melbourne

Photo: Benh LIEU SONG Wikimedia Commons. Text: Afp/relaxnews/Connexion

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