WHAT: The fact that a large proportion of knowledge workers during the corona pandemic worked remotely has proven to be favourable for places such as the Bahamas. The Bahamas is ideally suited to accommodate “long term” visitors who wish to work or study remotely while simultaneously enjoying and exploring a new destination and culture. The islands have therefore started a “Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay” program, where participants can easily apply for a 1 year visa to stay and work in the country, and are then recommended living areas according to their budget. Estonia has also created a simple process for applying for and obtaining visas for teleworkers outside the EU who want to live in the country for up to one year. The requirement is that the employee is officially employed by a company outside Estonia, or works mainly with non-Estonian customers.
SO WHAT: Many countries and cities have begun to see teleworking as an opportunity to take advantage of temporary talent influx that can also spill over into local development, by letting teleworkers take part in the local lifestyle. Places that are considered primarily lifestyle-related tourist destinations are now being changed to destinations for longer stays to attract mainly qualified officials and knowledge workers. They can also create financial benefits through new service offerings linked to that particular target group. On a larger scale, entire countries can attract talent and develop better conditions for teleworkers who want to live there for a limited period through strategic positions and by creating incentives for local actors to explore ways to make longer stays possible.
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