Digital Nomads – How To Prepare for This Growing Guest Segment?

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
7 min read

At Rentlio, we worked 243 days from home during the previous year, and we are still counting.

If you are interested in what else we did during challenging 2020, our annual review is here. 😉

And we’re not the only ones who have replaced office space with our homes. Some have been doing it for years.

Moreover, they do not change the office by working from home, but with an attractive long-stay offer, with pool and under parasols.

The people who do their job under the said parasol are digital nomads.

Specifically, the number of employees who can work remotely will reach 42.5% of the total workforce by 2022. How can you expand your offer for this segment of guests?

Digital Nomads – Definition

The term digital nomad was first mentioned in the book by Tsugi Makimoto and David Manners back in 1997.

Digital nomads represent a generation of employees popularized by the pandemic who are not tied to the workplace and follow their lifestyle more flexibly. Digital nomads are all about lifestyle, and all they need is a laptop and a stable internet connection.

They are often highly motivated to get to know the local community activities. They are also interested in the unique experiences that make that community special; they are mostly members of the millennial generation – but that is also changing alongside employment changes. Given the mentioned, it is more than useful to consider the characteristics of digital nomads and other similar concepts to enhance your accommodation offer.

Digital Nomads – Variations

Freelancers, workcation, digital nomad, bleisure travel refer to a combination of work and leisure.

The differences are negligible.

A freelancer is a person who, as a digital nomad, can work independently of the office but is self-employed. In contrast, digital nomads typically work for a particular employer. Furthermore, the terms workcation and bleisure refer to a combination of work and pleasure, i.e., an extended stay in one specific destination due to the possibility (or business trip) that the work is done from that same destination.

Digital Nomads – Wishes and Expectations

Some of the more essential categories according to which the digital nomad compiles his pros and cons list of future destinations relate to the average cost of living, climate and weather conditions throughout the year, geographical location and connectivity, and legislative requirements, and internet speed.

Barbados was among the first to take advantage of digital nomads opportunities by introducing the “digital nomad visa” option. Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Georgia, Dubai, and Estonia also administratively support digital nomads, and Aruba and Croatia are in the process.

However, mentioned is not always enough to attract these types of guests – digital nomads also represent a lifestyle, which in most cases will not be satisfied only by a favorable climate and good internet connection.

You can check your destination’s position on one of the most popular websites dedicated to digital nomads – Nomad List.

Croatia – Soon To Be Hot Spot

Kashlee Kucheran, one of the participants in the panel “Dubrovnik for Digital Nomads” as part of the European Freelance Week held at the end of last year, in the article “Countries with Digital Nomad Visas: The Complete List” lists all the advantages and disadvantages of the countries as mentioned above with a legislatively regulated framework for the stay of digital nomads.

Namely, let’s take into account the average cost of living. Croatia is significantly more favorable than the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and most EU member states. As for the climate and weather conditions – no extremes in Croatia. One of the advantages is our position and connection. Considering the general affinity of digital nomads for travel, changing the location in a relatively short time is an additional benefit of the chosen destination.

Croatian Parliament recently approved amendments of the Law on Foreigners and the Personal Income Tax Law, which regulate visas and non-taxability of digital nomads’ income. Also, the system for electronic submission of temporary residence applications is expected. Furthermore, amendments to the Act on Health Insurance and Health Care of Foreigners have been announced.

Photo by Kristijan Arsov on Unsplash

As far as some of the Croatian cities are concerned, the mentioned Nomad List ranks Zagreb in a high 17th place in the competition with European cities, making the Croatian capital the best rated Croatian city on the list. The best-ranked cities, in general, are Lisbon and Berlin.

Welcome, Digital Nomads

Longer and off-season stays are the essential features of digital nomads stays.

Long-stay offers thus impose themselves as a simple solution.

Airbnb has already adjusted properly by predicting an increase in searches for such stays and making it easier to search for accommodation that allows extended stay. Besides stay and discounts, it is desirable to offer a reliable WiFi connection and secure workspace in these offers. You can attract this segment of guests by organizing events and recommending similar ones in your surroundings.

Long-stay offers and customized rate plans can be created in Rentlio in just a few clicks.

What should be additionally paid attention to when offering accommodation to digital nomads are some, only seemingly, banalities.

The room and workplace should be conveniently organized to achieve a suitable background when handling business calls and Zoom meetings, excluding the bed’s view. Also, physically separated spaces are a bonus because digital nomads don’t necessarily work in the same time zone as an employer.

Digital nomads often travel, which means that they often return to the places where they have already stayed. It will be more comfortable and less time-consuming to update special requests and preferences in advance to make sure they have everything they need.

With Rentlio, you can solve this problem by adding notes within the guest description, and the information is at your fingertips at all times.

Hotels already have an organized place for their guests to work within their accommodation units and rule a reliable internet connection. So their transition to a work-friendly space is somewhat easier.

However, some did not stop only at the optimally positioned desk. What is new in this segment of the offer are hotels that add to the basic offers specially designed and engineered coworking areas to which digital nomads have access 0/24 while enabling everything that keeps the average employee motivated – snacks and top quality coffee tea. You can find inspiration here and here.

However, digital nomads are not just potential hotel guests.

If you want to attract this segment of guests and usually focus on families, provide a laptop-friendly place inside your accommodation unit. Specialized pieces of furniture such as custom chairs and the speed of the internet connection are also advantages by which you can attract future digital nomads in the long run. Be sure to emphasize these benefits, with the possibility of staying for a more extended period.

The Trend of Combining Business With Pleasure

Digital nomads are another trend that continues to blur the fine line between business and pleasure, between the pre and post covid and how we have worked, vacationed, and traveled.

Working from wherever is becoming part of everyday life, more and more people will travel longer distances to better combine work and leisure.

More than a third (37%) of travelers are already considering traveling to a destination to work elsewhere. As many as 52% of travelers said they would extend business trips to take advantage and rest at another destination instead of just doing business.

In addition to tips for adapting the offer to digital nomads, be sure to study our other suggestions to help you in preparing a sales strategy for 2021.

Flexibility and dynamism will be significant in attracting as many reservations as possible.

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚