WHAT: Through a government initiative, the Portuguese island of Madeira has built a community entirely focused on digital nomads. There, they offer 100 places to incoming temporary residents. 5,000 people have already submitted applications for the initiative, which aims to bridge the seasons of the tourism industry and reduce the region’s dependence on short-term visitors. The project has partnered with local hotel, real estate and car rental companies to create a package for visitors and offers them free workspace in the local cultural centre, as well as access to a Slack community and free WIFI from 8:00 to 22:00.
SO WHAT: Public Investments are being made to ensure that regions that have been completely dependent on incoming tourists can receive visitors who generate income for longer periods and even during the low season. Regions and cities have understood that a restructuring of the tourism industry is necessary to be able to diversify sources of income, as many have been hit hard by the reduced travel during the pandemic. Hotel companies can further develop their concepts to focus more on longer stays; and local communities can build infrastructure and services for the target group of teleworkers. This may be a long-term change in the tourism industry where the pandemic has clearly shown the lack of resilience.