Hot Destinations in 2023 for Talent, Investors, Tourism

Which locations will attract investments, tourists, and skilled labour in 2023 and beyond? Many factors determine the economic development of a place, and given our fast-paced world and changing work situations, cities gain and lose their appeal quickly.

We asked our panel of place brand specialists, which cities or countries they anticipate to be high on the radar of investors, highly trained workforce, and visitors in 2023.

Our key takeaways:

  • Poland, an upcoming country to keep an eye on
  • Turkey, not just the big cities but coastal provinces like Izmir
  • Countries like Estonia, Australia, and the Nordics continue to remain sought-after
  • Cities in central and eastern USA are in the limelight

Gunter Soydanbay

Günter Soydanbay

Speaker profile

Kemeralti, the old town of Izmir, is a place to keep an eye on. In 2022, it made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List. In addition, there are significant restoration projects taking place in the area.

Thanks to its weather, and relaxed Mediterranean culture, Izmir is already a domestic talent magnet in Turkey. The city is planning to move start-up incubators to the Kemeralti district. The area could be in the news more often in the next few years.

Jeannette Hanna panel

Jeannette Hanna

Trajectory Brand Consultants / Speaker profile

Niagara Benchlands – It has world-class wine, breakout gastronomy, UNESCO biosphere and other natural wonders within 30 minutes of Niagara Falls, Canada and the US border.

Natasha Grand

Natasha Grand

Speaker profile

Poland and Central Europe are becoming new interesting soil for place branding to grow. The return of economic migrants with new skills learned abroad, the influx of Ukrainian refugees and comparatively decent economic growth in the previous years have led to a new creative mix, and an influx of opportunities, skills, and innovation.

The seeds are being sown, and they are still in the ground. Something worthwhile is likely to emerge in the next decade.

Stuart Speirs

Silver Lining Strategy

The towns of the Sapphire Coast in the southeast corner of Australia are really on the move.

The old whaling town of Eden is undergoing massive change and its neighbouring towns of Pambula, Merimbula, Cobargo and Tathra continue to grow and evolve off the back of Australia’s net migration from cities to regional areas.

Tom Buncle

Tom Buncle

Speaker profile

Scenic rural areas with good connectivity, within easy access to urban facilities; and “15-minute cities” (access to major facilities – schools, doctors, pharmacy, shops, cafes, leisure and entertainment facilities – within a 15-minute radius from home) will boom because hybrid working will increasingly be the choice of those who can afford to do so.

These are people whose talent and skills are in demand and are therefore in a privileged position to negotiate terms with their employers or run their businesses.

Adam Mikolajczyk

Andrea Lucarelli

In the Nordics, the urban-rural divide is at the moment on the agenda of everyone, with the second gaining momentum.

Cities in rural areas, especially in the North, have repositioned themselves by attracting new ventures and companies will soon flourish.

Bill Geist

Cleveland O (USA)

The DMO has been asked to run point on talent acquisition for the region. This makes perfect sense because the DMO is the keeper of the brand and the only community development agency that is an expert in B2C communications.

Efe Sevin

  • Austin and Dallas (Texas)
  • Denver and Boulder (Colorado)
  • Burlington (Vermont)

Joao Freire

Lisbon has been a rising star for the past few years and will continue its trajectory. Nonetheless, the attraction that created the conditions for Lisbon to be a rising star has also resulted in some negative consequences such as increased cost of home purchases as well as rental homes.

With higher prices in Lisbon, we see areas around Lisbon getting more attention from newcomers. This attention even extends to areas more than two hours outside of Lisbon.

Therefore, another rising star emerging for both talent and investors is the Algarve in the south of Portugal. Algarve is an established summer destination and in the past few years, has been attracting retirees to live. However, it is also attracting talent and young professionals with the opening of new international schools.

Algarve is a 2h30m drive from Lisbon and has an airport with an increased number of international connections. Cultural events are increasing as well as commercial outlets and restaurants. There has been an enormous change in Algarve, especially during the winter.

The local economy is being transformed by the increasing population and it is becoming a dynamic year-round destination. For these reasons, I would consider Algarve a rising star.

Magdalena Florek

  • Montenegro
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Estonia

More about the panel – including previously published insights – here.

Which city or region would you consider a rising star, worth keeping an eye on right now? Leave a comment!

Enjoyed this snapshot of expert views on cities and regions which are right now the most sought after by investors, skilled workers and visitors? Thanks for sharing!


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