Five experts predict the trends that will impact place branding in 2023 and beyond

It’s 2023, and we’re looking forward to a new year, with new challenges and opportunities to be addressed. But which trends will be making the biggest impact on place brand and place marketing strategies over the next twelve months? From sustainability to data to managing decreased spending budgets, five of our expert partners shared their insights to help you keep your finger on the pulse as you head into 2023.


Developing purpose and value-led places

Sustainability – environmental, social, and economic – is becoming a key consideration for people around the world. Firstly, places will need to demonstrate their green credentials through actions rather than just words. Secondly, there is a mounting expectation for real action on equality, diversity, and inclusion – places ought to lead by example. And finally, as more and more people are struggling to make ends meet, decisions should be guided by prudence in how you spend and affordability in what you offer.

Konrad Jagodzinski, Place Branding Director at Brand Finance

Embracing and welcoming digital nomads

Since 2019, the number of remote workers has more than doubled in response to the pandemic. Next year, we anticipate many of these people will adopt an increasingly nomadic lifestyle, migrating to different cities and countries while maintaining their current careers.

Digital nomads are quickly drawing attention from countries like Iceland, Croatia, and Germany, whose governments have launched visa schemes and other incentives to entice them into staying longer and supporting the local economy. Major hotel chains have also jumped on the trend, with names like IHG and Marriott offering packages geared towards remote workers. This will bring a shift towards workers traveling with less baggage and seeking more goods and services locally.

This provides hotels and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) with a major opportunity to capture new revenue from this flourishing travel segment. Having access to comprehensive business intelligence will empower them to better understand booking trends, as well as how their market and competitive set is performing. With this information, they can then deploy tailored digital media campaigns and promotions to drive travel demand.

Scott Falconer, Executive Vice President, Media Solutions, Hospitality at Amadeus 


Being bold and innovative when thinking about public spaces

2023 will be trending towards human connections. Public spaces became the safe haven for different communities and they are eager to create new memories. All messages and activations will tend towards bringing people physically into specific spaces.

Casual public spaces become destinations for communities. People are looking to be surprised and excited by unique experiences. Technology, interactivity, art and innovation are key components in making this a reality. A shift into a more active programming where people can touch and feel. This will be a year of exploration.

Alexandre Lemieux - Co-founder & Business Development Director at Creos

Adopting more intelligent data strategies to target specific audiences

Refreshing and defining market segments every quarter - rather than every year or two - is important for any place. Targeting digital marketing strategies to the values, demographics and geography of market segments on a more consistent basis is critical. Personalization of web strategies and web presence for specific market segments is also important - travellers are looking for a journey from brand awareness to consideration to conversion that is more personal, more tailored to their needs, than ever before.

Danny Cohanpour, CEO at Trove Tourism Development Advisors


Seeking the best value for money

Unsurprisingly I think that consumers will be looking for value for money due to the tough economic conditions which are likely to persist for some time. Destinations will therefore need to offer a strong value proposition to visitors, ‘reward’ their residents and help to drive and deliver shoulder season footfall for businesses.

Our Big Day Out campaign (which targets the lucrative visiting friends and relatives market) was created to help destinations deliver all of these aspects. . It involves local attractions giving away free tickets in a ballot to local residents over a specified time period. The main advantages of the campaign is that communities get to re-engage with the fantastic attractions on their doorstep (for free) and businesses have told us that they often secure repeat visits, revenue and the opportunity to reach new audiences.

Deirdre Wells, CEO of Go To Places

The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.