Who are the digital nomads? Do they offer significant benefits to destinations or are they more of a burden? How could cities tap into this source of travelling talent and turn this trend to their advantage? European Cities Marketing (which since became City Destinations Alliance) asked us to explore these questions, unfolding the hidden opportunities (and even challenges) that digital nomads present, and providing an attractive, actionable roadmap that would explain how cities can tap into this source of travelling global talent.
Define digital nomads and map the key trends that explain their emergence.
Provide insights on the unique characteristics of this segment and what they mean for cities.
Identify the key players across multiple industries that service digital nomads.
Review and source inspiration from successful initiatives around the world.
Guide cities on how they can make the best out of digital nomads and avoid challenges.
The pandemic increased the number of white-collar professionals choosing to take to the road. However, this isn’t a new phenomenon, since there are underlying factors that act in parallel with the pandemic’s shifts. Moreover, the romanticised stereotype of the relaxed freelancer with the laptop and the sea doesn’t represent a true picture of who this group is, and how it behaves. Read more on our approach and download the report at the end of the page.
Therefore, we decided to set the scene by analysing the different types of digital nomads, their characteristics and motivations and evaluate how this phenomenon accelerated, and how it could potentially evolve in the future. Subsequently, we put the findings into a context that city marketing and management organisations would find useful as they plan post-pandemic recovery programmes.
We also went beyond the obvious (i.e. only focussing on the potential for increased tourism revenues) and instead examined wider implications such as cities’ competition for talent. This analysis was complemented with a guide to what digital nomads seek in a destination and a detailed map of the businesses across multiple sectors that service digital nomads. With sound conclusions and insights around these topics, we had to bridge the gap between promoting the opportunities that they bring, and also fulfilling their needs. For this reason we examined best practices around the world to provide actionable recommendations that cities could use.
Map of leading destinations and businesses covering five key categories.
Market analysis with five growth trends that will shape the digital nomad landscape.
Mapping the leading businesses across multiple sectors that service digital nomads.
Nine best practises on digital nomad programmes from all over the world.
A roadmap for cities to tap into this segment with detailed recommendations.
We are pleased to present the successful results of this project, showcasing the fruits of our labor:
The first major guide to explore the world of the digital nomad from an objective point of view.
The guide has helped European cities to understand an emerging group of travellers with practical guidance on working with their local business community to tap into this market.
In December 2021, the report highlights were presented in a dedicated webinar.