The rise of the ‘half-tourist’ who combines work with a change of scene

Covid-19 has accelerated the decline of the office, but not everyone wants to work from home. We look at travel firms catering to the growing number of nomadic workers

Until the pandemic the term “remote worker” conjured up an image of a young hipster lugging a Mac around a co-living space somewhere in Bali or Berlin. But when coronavirus forced half of the UK to work from home back in April, a whole new cohort of people, who had spent their entire careers in an office, realised that working from different locations was a real possibility. Boris Johnson’s announcement on 22 September of a new set of Covid-restrictions that could last up to six months – including advice to work from home wherever possible, in a reversal of previous messaging – could well inspire many more people to adopt a nomadic working life.

Destinations hit by the global halt in travel have already started to target nomadic workers to make up for the loss of tourist income. Barbados was one of the first to launch a “digital nomad” visa, in July. Since then, a wave of other countries have announced similar programmes, including Estonia, Georgia and Croatia. Most recently, Anguilla launched a visa scheme inviting visitors to live and work on the island for 12 months, “swapping grey skies and jumpers for tropical blues and daily temperatures reaching for the 30s”.

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