TIRANA, November 26
Do you remember that meme of birds sitting on a power line looking at another bird suspended in the air and chirping: “He has Wi-Fi”? Yet, a hilarious pun would be “He’s a digital nomad”.
Digital nomads are like migratory birds traveling long distances all over the world looking for a temporary environment that usually is warm, affordable, and has a fast internet connection.
Now, that 2020 has shown to those CEO’s and managers, who weren’t huge fans of remote work, that it actually works, some countries are ‘fighting’ to attract the new wave of the COVID-19 or post COVID-19 digital nomads.
The sure thing is that digital nomads have been buzzing around destinations with a great climate, rich culture, affordable costs of living, low crime rates, like bees to honey.
On the other hand, such countries also have economies that rely heavily on tourism, which was canceled in 2020. As the revival of traditional tourism seems longer, countries desperate to replace the lack of short-term tourists with another source of income have shifted toward digital nomads. While many are new to the game, countries like Germany, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica have already been tapping into the potential of freelancers and remote workers. They provided visa-programs and residency schemes to overseas remote workers.
The new entries to the list of countries that started offering similar attractive programs include Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Georgia, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Aruba, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Mauritius. Moreover, an organization in Oklahoma gives $10,000 to remote workers and digital nomads that decide to join the Tusla community.
Meanwhile, Iceland and Croatia are also planning new rules that would attract more digital nomads. Croatia is one of those economies that rely on tourism. However, the country has been looking into a more sustainable solution compared to mass tourism, especially after crowds hit Dubrovnik, which was the main filming location in Croatia for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.
What makes a place attractive to digital nomads?
- Specific visa programs and tax-exempts
- Geography/ good connectivity
- Reliable broadband
- Nice climate, amazing sunshine, not too warm, hot, humid, or cold
- Access to the sea and mountains
- Affordable cost of living
- Friendly locals
- Multilingual population
- Nomad communities
- Tech infrastructure
- Business and entrepreneurs’ networks
When the world opens up again for international travel where do you want to work from? Is Albania on your radar?
Before the pandemic outbreak, Albanian authorities were trying to lure pensioners to retire in Albania with a new tax regime. Given that Albania offers most of the benefits that digital nomads are looking for, a new luring tax or visa regime for digital nomads would be a win for everyone involved. Also before the pandemic wreaked havoc on almost everything, Saranda was in the list of the best destinations for digital nomads in 2020.
Photo credit: Pete Heck