LONDON--The London 2012 Olympics has helped to boost Britain’s global reputation, according to survey of communications professionals from around the world.

The study, conducted by PR network ECCO, polled more than 100 comms specialists from 24 countries. 79 percent judged their local media coverage of the London Olympics as largely positive and 73 percent said the event had changed the image of the British for the better.

Remarks from some of the respondents highlight the improvement in the country’s reputation. “London is not just the city of greedy bankers any more,” said German PR agency owner Lutz Cleffman. “The Olympics showed a much nicer face of the people and country.”

99 percent of respondents expect that the Olympics will encourage more people from their country to visit Britain and 97 percent believe it has resulted in more positive perceptions of British products and services in their countries.

The image of UK sports fans also improved. “British sports fans have previously had a bad reputation abroad, largely due to football,” said Finnish PR consultant Petri Laine. “The games went a long way towards improving that image and showcasing the Brits as true sports fans in the best sense of the term.”

The best ‘face’ for London was seen as having been the athletes themselves (41 percent), followed by the people of London (23 percent) and the Royal Family (16 percent). Surprisingly, London Mayor Boris Johnson received just seven percent of the vote, despite widespread media acclaim of his role during the event.

Danny Boyle’s vision for the opening ceremony was very well received internationally, with over a third (36 percent) of those that watched it calling it ‘excellent’.

“Britain has been patting itself on the back justifiably for a fantastic games but overseas audiences count even more when it comes to boosting tourism and international trade,” said Sara Render, chairman of ECCO and CEO of UK PR firm Kinross & Render. “This is a strong endorsement of London 2012’s positive impact on the British tourism and export brand from PR experts from around the world.”