Greece stands to gain approximately 1.6 billion euros in a year if it manages to attract digital nomads to the country with its new technologies and lax tax policy, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis this week.
Speaking during the virtual “Greece: Competing for Global Talent” event organized by the Delphi Economic Forum on Tuesday, Theoharis said attracting remote workers was a key government and tourism ministry priority.
Theoharis referred to the country’s advantages, which besides the fine weather, include the rollout of advanced 5G technology which ensures ultra-high speed connectivity.
Aiming to tap into the growing trend, the Greek finance ministry recently introduced a series of tax incentives. Lastly, Theoharis referred to Greek culture as well as the wide range of entertainment and leisure options.
‘Come for the sun’
“Come for the sun, stay for the taxes and technology” is the running slogan with which Greece wants to get its message out there, according to Alex Patelis, chief economic adviser to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
In this direction, Theoharis said the tourism ministry was preparing a strategy to attract remote workers which currently make up a market of some 4 million people worldwide and 70 percent of which, according to a Buffer 2020 study, report annual incomes over 50,000 dollars.
The minister went on to cite an MIT Enterprise Forum assessment that 100,000 digital nomads based in Greece for at least six months can in a year generate 1.6 billion euros.
“This sum is equal to revenue generated by 2.5 million tourists who stay in Greece for a week,” said Theoharis.
The first step, he said, is entering talks with stakeholders to add incentives that will make Greece an attractive option for people who chose to travel and work. It is crucial, Theoharis said, that both public and private enterprises and entities work together, and achieving also close cooperation with start-up enterprises.
Indicatively, digital nomads working out of Greece in 2021 are entitled to a 50 percent tax break on income. The exemption applies for seven years.
The tourism ministry, meanwhile, is working towards the creation of a special visa for remote workers.
Several Greek cities and regions are looking to tap into the promising market. Athens launched a 12-week campaign in this direction titled “Even Lockdown is Better in Athens” which looks at the lives of digital nomads already working out of the Greek capital. Rhodes, Lesvos and Crete have also followed suit.