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  • Writer's pictureCarrie at Fresh Eyes


The demographic of my guests has changed radically in the past 12 months. I’ve had an influx of digital nomads. They live in the city for a few months, sampling the vibe of a new country and its culture, but go on weekends away for some sightseeing and adventure. In my case, they reside in Cape Town city centre, and come to the laid-back south peninsula and learn to surf, go kayaking, top up the tan on soft sandy beaches, chill out at barefoot bars and eat seafood at oceanside restaurants.

According to Airbnb, digital nomads living and working remotely all over the world, could reach 1 billion by 2035. How you tap into this emerging market, may well determine whether or not you get a slice of the delicious digital nomad pie.

Who Are Digital Nomads and What Do They Want?

They are smart, well-educated young people who work hard, but do so in a place of their choosing, rather than the place of their upbringing or education. They want to live their best life, which means residing anywhere in the world that takes their fancy, for a few weeks, or a few months, while working remotely. They get paid in the currency of their employer (commonly US$, €uro or £), which, with a favourable exchange rate, gives them more spending power than locals and tourists, because they are saving on living costs, comparable to their home or office base, while earning foreign currency. Win-Win!

Investopedia say that in November 2022, the following countries accommodated digital nomads with some sort of working entry visa:

Albania, Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Cyprus, Dubai, Ecuador, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Indonesia-Bali, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Namibia, North Macedonia, Panama, Romania, Serbia, South Africa Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Thailand.

This concept was fast-forwarded due to Covid and is now a common lifestyle choice for self-confident adventurous solos and couples, who want to experience new places. Digital Nomads are not the same as those on a Workation, who are typically 18-29 yr olds working while on vacation of 2-4 weeks, but return to their place of work afterwards. DN’s stay longer and immerse themselves into their chosen destination before moving on to pastures new.

Top 20 Airbnb Digital Nomad Destinations

Airbnb went on a drive in 2022 to partner with places and countries to facilitate digital nomads. Andy Sto, a long-term digital nomad and author of a great blog about this lifestyle, sites these as Airbnb's target destinations:

1. Baja California Sur, Mexico

2. Bali, Indonesia

3. Brindisi, Puglia, Italy

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

5. Caribbean

6. Canary Islands, Spain

7. Cape Town, South Africa

8. Colombia

9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

10. Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

11. Lisbon, Portugal

12. Malta

13. Mexico City, Mexico

14. Palm Springs, California, USA

15. Queensland, Australia

16. Rural France

17. Salzkammergut, Austria

18. Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

19. Thailand

20. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Digital Nomad Profile:

Have you got a workstation? A room with a view, a really comfy couch, top speed WiFi and a coffee machine? What about a couple of bikes, or a scooter? These are just some of the things digital nomads desire.

It may be time for a Fresh Eyes self-inspection on your accommodation! It’s a room-by-room inspection video course, showing you how to open up fresh eyes on your own accommodation, because it’s so familiar to you that you don’t see what can be improved. Watch a real-life Fresh Eyes Inspection on an Airbnb and then give it a try yourself. Drop us an email and we’ll sign you up.

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