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Digital nomads can save City’s tourism sector

As remote working is becoming increasingly popular worldwide the City of Cape Town will be using this opportunity to bolster the city’s struggling hospitality industry.

And this applies not only to digital nomads, but also locals who now indefinitely work from home.

Imagine your workday starting under a shady tree with a cup of coffee and ending after lunch next to a sparkling pool, all with Covid-19 regulations tight in place.

Cape Town recently made the list at number 47 for “Best cities for remote working” on the Big 7 Travel’s 50 Best Places for Remote Working in 2021.

Big 7 Travel is a travel website, with an online community of 2.5 million people.

This position, according to James Vos, Mayco member for economic opportunities the City of Cape Town, has been incorporated into the City’s enterprise and investment strategy to draw visitors to Cape Town to visit, live, work, study, play and invest.

“Cape Town has long been a favourite with digital nomads, yet this is almost our best kept secret,” says Vos.

Vos says the City’s tourism task team has already started engaging with the industry on this opportunity.

“We started talks with the industry to get their buy-in on this concept. Establishments may offer what I call affordable ‘workation trips’ in order to attract locals from Cape Town and other provinces. It is a win-win situation,” he said in a telephonic interview.

“Also, by means of destination marketing the City will target digital nomads in an international campaign when the time is right and when it is safe to do so. Covid-19 has changed the way we work, where working from home has become part of our everyday life. If there is one positive from this pandemic, the future of work will never be the same. This puts Cape Town in a prime position to cater to the changing needs of a global workforce. Given the challenging travel landscape created by the pandemic, we need to get smarter and innovate our hospitality sector by also focusing on remote workers so the sector can benefit from this growing remote work trend with Covid-19 protocols in place.

“Some of the things that we encourage the hospitality sector to consider implementing, will be finding ways to attract Capetonians as well as others in our country, who usually work from home offices, to change their environment when it is safe to do so with Covid-19 protocols in place.”

Vos explains that remote workers, local or international, could work in spaces where there is access to a day room with Wi-Fi, a pool, breakfast, lunch and parking.

“For the long-stay digital nomads, the sector could consider revised rates and ‘home away from home’ type packaging. Such long stays can help to support local economies that have been decimated due to the impact of the pandemic,” he says.

In addition, the exchange rate goes a long way towards making Cape Town an affordable luxury destination for international workers, without displacing local jobs for up to 90 days as permitted by immigration regulations. According to a statement issued by Vos, current visa free countries include some of our key source markets such as Germany, UK, France, the US and more.

“Workers have realised that they can work from anywhere. With so much space and natural beauty, why not Cape Town?

Visit www.destination.investcapetown.com/ for more information.

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