Harnessing the Rise of the Digital Nomad

Travel Trends

February 25, 2019

The growth of internet-based service-oriented jobs has spawned a new breed of traveller: one who has no fixed ties and is happy to work remotely for all or part of the year. These ‘citizens of the world’ are rejecting the status quo of working life, presenting new opportunities for the travel sector.

What is a Digital Nomad?

The term nomad often conjures up images of roaming traders or our hunter-gatherer ancestors. However, the expression has been dragged into the 21st century, with digital nomads being those who are able to work remotely and travel the world at the same time. Given that estimates suggest that 23% of employees around the world have tried remote-working, the appetite amongst workers to get out of the stuffy office and see the world is significant, and only looks to grow in the future.

Such a concept has become mainstream thanks mainly to rapidly improving technology and internet access around the world, alongside growing acceptance of flexible working. It is also due to a shift in life priorities: millennials in particular—known for prioritising access to experiences over material possessions—have welcomed the phenomenon with open arms.

However, it’s not just those born after 1980 grabbing at the chance to see a bit more of the world without breaking the bank: just over half of US digital nomads surveyed last year were over 38 years old, meaning the phenomenon is more diverse than many imagine. The industries in which nomads work are also varied: no longer constrained to careers as freelance journalists or web designers, nomads include tech-based entrepreneurs, social media influencers and even those providing professional services remotely, such as legal advice.

Opportunities This Presents

It’s clear almost anyone with a laptop, a passport and a job that allows remote-working can embark on the path of the digital nomad. The question then is what can your business be doing to best attract this diverse group?

  1. Stand out from the crowd – The necessity of having access to a reliable and strong internet connection means investing in this infrastructure can really make your business stand out. Whether a coffee shop or hotel, strong Wi-Fi combined with areas doubling as coworking spaces or hot desks can really help you market your business towards the digital nomad.
  2. Help your customers plan in advance – Digital nomads keep their eyes peeled for good deals and know they will be in a place for some time. As such, they are likely to want to book before arriving at their next destination. Make the most of this with your tourist business by offering advance reservations with the Tab Bookings feature!
  3. Think outside the box when it comes to tours – Digital nomads are different from the typical tourist in that they are likely to stay somewhere for at least a few months, and so are more likely to branch out to discover less well-visited attractions. This provides the perfect opportunity to offer day tours to places slightly further afield.

Sources:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf
https://www.mbopartners.com/uploads/files/state-of-independence-reports/StateofIndependence-ResearchBrief-DigitalNomads.pdf