Barbados welcomes digital nomads
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of remote workers worldwide was growing. A research from the consulting firm MBO Partners found that the number of independent workers in the United States, which includes consultants, freelancers and In More than 7.3 million working Americans described themselves in 2019 as “digital nomads”, in other words those who chose to embrace a location-independent lifestyle that allowed them to travel and work remotely.
David Cassar, MBO Partners’ chief operations officer, notes that the international leverage of freelancers is increasing considerably.
“We absolutely expect interest in becoming a digital nomad to spike among independent workers in the coming years. Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of widespread remote work, and independent workers will be among the first to take advantage of a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle,” he said.
Among incentives for some of the digital nomads lifestyles is a lower cost of living.
For conuntries, welcoming working travellers, long stay visa requires proof of health insurance and negative virus tests (either pre-arrival, upon arrival, or both), some require an application fee and proof of a monthly salary, complete with bank statements.
Barbados digital nomads one year visa requires need to fill out an online application form and submit photos, the proof of employment and an income declaration of at least $50,000 annually during the period that they are on the island. An application fee of $2,000 per person is only payable after he or she is approved; families pay a fee of $3,000, irrespective of the number of members in their household.
A substantial drop in these countries tourism numbers is a key reason for the new programs.
“Tourism is the lifeline of the country,” said Eusi Skeete, the U.S. director of tourism for Barbados. Tourism accounted for 14% of the country’s annual gross domestic product in 2019, according to data published by the Central Bank of Barbados, and had a record number of international arrivals of more than 712,000. But in 2020, the number of visitors during the months of April, May and June were near zero.
Barbados is a relatively stable Small Island Developing State. It is a high-income country with the private sector being the main economic engine and tourism playing an important role. Around 80% of the GDP is generated from services in trade, transport, government, and business, and other services such as banking; tourism accounts for around 12% of the GDP.