The Municipality of Rhodes is looking into ways to attract digital nomads – travelers from all over the world that combine remote working and traveling.
Digital nomads work remotely with the help of telecommunication technologies. They either set a base in another country or continuously travel to other destinations. The tourism trend began prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) but emerged stronger in 2020 after the introduction of lockdowns and travel restrictions on a global level.
According to Rhodes Deputy Minister responsible for tourism Kostas Taraslias, digital nomads are highly educated individuals whose number is expected to reach 1 billion globally by 2035.
Speaking during a recent meeting of the Rhodes Municipal Council, he noted that several countries around the world have started to offer incentives to digital nomads to relocate: Germany has launched a visa for self-employed individuals; Australia offers a holiday visa for young people between 15-35 years, while Estonia has issued a 12-month visa for digital nomads.
Rhodes’ Digital Nomads Observatory
Aiming to tap into the benefits of this global trend, the Municipality of Rhodes has established a Digital Nomads Observatory, which will provide local authorities with the necessary knowhow and tools to attract digital nomads.
“Imagine if Rhodes could host people from all over the world on a permanent basis or during the winter period. The effect on tourism traffic and local consumption would be critical in times of recession,” Taraslias said, adding that Rhodes is an ideal place for people to work.
“It offers all the necessary prerequisites for someone to create exceptional living conditions: natural beauty, nice weather, consumer goods, and an international airport that allows immediate transport,” he added.
In efforts to attract digital nomads, the municipality is looking to carry out the following actions:
- Set up an integrated strategic plan
- Promote Rhodes as the ideal destination for digital nomads
- Improve its infrastructure in order to offer high-speed internet services in collaboration with Greece’s leading telecommunications companies
- Practically facilitate nomads to move and stay on the island
- Adopt actions and policies for the creation of a “corporate networking nomad community” on Rhodes
- Cooperate and exchange knowhow on best practices with other cities abroad
- Collaborate with organizations addressed to startup companies and digital nomads
- Communicate with leading foreign technology companies that employ digital nomads
- Network with the international community of digital nomads
- Inform citizens and local businesses on the potential of this form of tourism
- Create an organized business ecosystem that will connect with the digital nomads movement.
“Digital nomads are a new category of visitors that in the near future – due to the rapid development of remote working internationally – will attract the interest of the tourism sector. The Municipality of Rhodes aims to set the foundations in order for the island to develop into an attracting destination for digital nomads,” Taraslias concluded.