SINCE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS RENDERED TELEWORKING MUCH MORE COMMON, THERE HAVE BEEN QUITE A FEW CAMPAIGNS BY DESTINATIONS THAT TEMPT REMOTE WORKERS TO BRING THEIR LAPTOPS ALONG ON EXTENDED STAYS WHERE THEY CAN COMBINE LABOR WITH LEISURE.
But, Portugal’s Madeira Islands, an idyllic Atlantic archipelago, located off the coast of Morocco, is taking the concept to a new level by inviting remote workers to move to the community of Ponta del Sol—considered the hottest municipality on the island of Madeira—to live in the world’s first Digital Nomad Village.
Starting February 1, professionals from around the globe can sign up to stay in this beautiful, sun-drenched destination for a period of one to six months and take advantage of the incredible location, landscape, and culture—plus free co-working space, fast Wi-Fi connection, dedicated Slack channel, exclusive events an assigned local host who will help them get acclimated.
The project was developed by the Regional Government of Madeira, in partnership with a local company called Startup Madeira. According to Tripsavvy, it’s the first initiative of its kind to involve the local government directly. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has robbed the region of tourism revenue (which typically makes up about 20 percent of Madeira’s GDP), the ‘Madeira Digital Nomads’ campaign aims to bolster the local economy and keep businesses afloat by welcoming longer-term visitors.
Those who join the Digital Nomad Village will need to secure their own housing, transportation, and visas, and those coming from outside the European Union will need to obtain a 90-day Schengen visa. The program offers some assistance in terms of finding extended-stay lodging options, which include Airbnb listings and hotels with discounted longer-stay rates.
And, amid COVID-19, Madeira continues to focus on positioning itself as a safe spot for travelers by ensuring that best practices are being observed throughout the destination. The ‘Madeira Safe to Discover’ certification process was created especially for tourism-sector businesses and most local companies are also adopting the ‘Clean & Safe’ stamp, created by VisitPortugal. Local authorities also require all visitors to take a COVID-19 test, either upon arrival or in the 72 hours prior to travel.
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