Cabo Verde has identified, in São Vicente and Tarrafal de Santiago, the first ‘villages’ to receive “digital nomads” as part of a programme to diversify and reinvent tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The administrator of the Institute of Tourism, Francisco Martins, began by explaining to Lusa that the village is an abstract concept, as it will not be the construction of infrastructure but a community for digital professionals.
The “Remote Working Cabo Verde – Digital Nomads” programme was officially launched in Praia in December 2020, and the country has received about three dozen professionals, of which nearly a dozen are in Sao Vicente.
According to the administrator, everything was achieved in partnership with a private partner, which created all the ideal conditions to work, emphasising high-quality internet, taking into account that remote working has gained more popularity in the pandemic.
“These are people who, due to their characteristics, do not work eight or 10 hours straight. Depending on the profile, they have a peak of work during the day and then go do other things”, stressed Francisco Martins, noting that these professionals seek to live in an urban environment.
This is why they chose São Vicente, due to its proximity to Santo Antão and Tarrafal de Santiago, on the same island as the country’s capital (Praia), which offers cultural activities, gastronomy, extreme and water sports, nature and mountain tourism and services.
“They do many activities that create a great impact on the community where they live,” he added.
The Remote Working programme is one of the strategies to reinvent tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic and, according to the institute’s administrator, already receiving the first participants is a sign that Cabo Verde has what many other countries do not have.
“It is the possibility of offering various products for the tourism market, and diversification, even more so in this context of the pandemic, and given the demand that has dropped a lot in terms of resort tourism,” he stressed.
Francisco Martins stressed the opportunity to take advantage of other products and niche markets, besides salt and beach, which are increasingly sought after in various regions of the world, including Mexico, Barbados, the Philippines, Malta, Georgia, Portugal (Madeira, Azores).
They are young people who are generally self-employed. When they are working, they like to travel, staying on average two to three months in a destination, with a temporary work visa for six months, with the possibility of renewal for an equal period.
Apart from Sao Vicente and Tarrafal de Santiago, the administrator told Lusa that all Cabo Verde islands could receive these independent workers. All that is needed is a good internet connection.
Cabo Verde aims to attract 4,000 qualified foreigners to work remotely from the archipelago over the next three years.
With a total cost per person of €54, it provides an exemption from payment of income tax for independent workers who come to the archipelago to work remotely.
The programme, whose applications can be submitted electronically at www.remoteworkingcaboverde.com, is only open to citizens of countries in Europe, North America, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and the Economic Community of West African States (…….