For most countries, at an individual level, adopting specific measures to attract remote workers can be an unprecedented opportunity to drastically improve the economic quality of their tourists. This, by replacing the classic tourist, gone with the pandemic, by location-independents willing to expose much higher expenses in the countries they visit (higher medium salary and specific expenses for the needs of working remotely).
At a global level, countries that have the potential to become very attractive for remote workers will benefit from a positive-sum game. The legal flexibility and tax advantages that they offer, via digital nomad programs, for example, will increase the options and therefore the mobility of the average location-independent.
An alternative to mainstream tourism
Compensating the economic loss occasioned by the low level of tourism since the beginning of the pandemic is an absolute requirement for many countries: countries that were already considered as digital nomad hot spots as well as those that relied mainly on mainstream tourism.
As such, Thailand, as an established hot spot for digital nomads and tourists, recently decided to strengthen its position on the “digital nomad market” and announced its new digital nomad visa earlier this year. This decision has been precisely guided by the impact of the Covid-19 situation on their tourism but was also the opportunity for the country to refocus on more “valuable” visitors. Their program targets not only digital nomads but also wealthy foreign investors.
The Mediterranean island nation of Malta, ranked one of the top international destinations for remote workers and digital nomads, also welcomes remote workers and digital nomads. The Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta. The Permit is open to individuals from outside the EU, who would normally require a Visa to travel to Malta.
Watch Island Innovation’s special webinar to learn everything about Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit, including the application eligibility requirements and where to apply.
Most countries for which the tourism activity represents an important part of their GDP, already adopted a digital nomad program to attract remote workers:
|Countries||Percentage of GDP coming from tourism before the pandemic||Digital Nomad program|
|Cape Verde||24.9 %||Yes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||21.7 %||Yes|
|Cayman Islands||21.4 %||Yes|
|The Bahamas||21.2 %||Yes|
Source: BigAtlas, 2018