Cape Town partners up with Airbnb to welcome digital nomads

20 July  2022 – Itc ct

Cape Town has been identified by Airbnb as one of the world’s most remote worker-friendly destinations and has entered into a new partnership deal with the accommodation-sharing service.

The Mother City is one of 20 destinations around the world that has entered into the partnership which aims to make it easier to live and work anywhere, according to Business Tech. The deal is part of Airbnb’s ‘live and work anywhere initiative’ and supports governments in helping to revive tourism and provide economic support to communities after two-plus years of COVID-19 travel restrictions. This initiative was introduced earlier this year in April.

The 20 destinations Airbnb will spotlight include:

  • Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Brindisi, Puglia, Italy
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Caribbean
  • Canary Islands, Spain
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Colombia
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Malta
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Palm Springs, California, USA
  • Queensland, Australia
  • Rural France
  • Salzkammergut, Austria
  • Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
  • Thailand
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

As part of Airbnb’s partnership with Cape Town, the company will work closely with Cape Town Tourism in “building a dedicated custom-built hub for Cape Town that will showcase top local long-term stay listings as well as important information relating to entry requirements and visa policies to attract remote workers” and other iniatives.

The Cape Town hub will also hold educational campaigns that will promote responsible hosting and travelling as a remote worker. The Cape Town hub is set to launch later this year.

As per Bizcommunity, Cape Town Tourism’s chief marketing officer, Leigh Dawber, says: “We are incredibly proud to be profiled by Airbnb as one of the world’s best cities for remote working. Cape Town offers an unparalleled experience as an inclusive, hospitable African city in the heart of nature. The work-life balance that our city offers is truly unique.

“You can work while looking up at Table Mountain, one of the 7th Natural Wonders of the World, and down at a beautiful sea view of one of our three blue flag coastlines, all at the same time. Being recognised as a World Design Capital and a leading African City for innovation, we welcome business travellers to visit Cape Town to be inspired and get the best of both worlds.”

Not only will Cape Town be promoted as a prime destination for remote workers, but Cape Town and other tourism destinations in South Africa are also set to benefit from the introduction of a ‘Remote Working Visa’ for South Africa. The visa is aimed at attracting ‘digital nomads’ – people who will live in and work remotely from cities such as Cape Town.

Digital nomad visas are travel permits that legally allow travelling professionals to enter certain countries while working remotely. Unlike most tourist visas, digital nomad visas allow for longer stays. They are also easier to obtain and don’t require a work contract and other documentation.

As part of the ‘live and work anywhere initiative’, Airbnb partners with governments and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) to specifically support efforts to bring remote workers to their communities. Dozens of destinations around the world already have policies in place to allow foreigners to work remotely with ease, and South Africans will benefit from these changes by being eligible for newly introduced remote working visas to these destinations.

The city’s mayoral committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, said with people working from home during the pandemic, the digital nomads concept has become a much-needed escape and great opportunity to take work on a holiday.

“We are seeing innovation within the tourism sector to accommodate the changed behaviour of remote working by offering affordable long-term stays, including other benefits required to work remotely and we will expand this message through the broad range of products and businesses who can use a leg up in this challenging time.

“An abundance of natural beauty and wide-open spaces makes Cape Town an ideal location to live and work with solid fibre infrastructure and top-class hospitality services and products,” he said.

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