It's a well-known fact in the travel industry that the 9-5 system is no longer the norm, and that more people than ever have transitioned to the remote work model. In fact, this shift in the workplace was first predicted in the 1990s with emerging technology that would enable people to work from anywhere. By 2022, the number of remote workers had grown to 35 million, with 16% of global companies being 100% remote, and 76% of respondents to a 2022 TravelPerk survey saying their company had moved to hybrid models.
It is clear that the ways in which business travellers traverse the globe are changing. This shift has also enabled day-to-day travellers, who were formerly restricted by the traditional 9-5 office job, to gain newfound freedom to work and travel to their desired destinations. Consequently, this transition is significantly impacting both business and leisure travel, and shows that the underlying dynamics of these dynamics are becoming increasingly intertwined.
In light of this, it is essential that you as hotel owners are equipped to adequately provide for the evolving needs of remote workers. One of the best ways of doing so, is by working with a global hotel distribution provider like us, at Hotelbeds. With a widespread network within the travel industry, we facilitate effective and successful connections between travel suppliers, and travel buyers everywhere.
As well as our key insights into changes in the industry itself, our expert teams are abreast of changing demands that may impact your hotel(s), which means you can keep ahead of the competition and secure those higher occupancy rates.
For now, let’s explore where today’s remote worker wants to travel, so that you can consider how to keep up with this fast-growing audience.
‘Bleisure’ Travel’s Rise to Fame
In 2022, "bleisure" travel emerged in response to the increase of remote working, as well as an uptick in the frequency of business travellers combining their work trips with leisure travel. This phenomenon was largely the result of limited opportunities made available during the height of the pandemic.
Additionally, executives at Marriott International suggested that the prevalence and growth of blended travel will endure through 2023 and beyond. It has become harder to determine if hotel guests are traveling for leisure or business purposes due to changing travel behaviours.
The long-term impact on the travel industry as a result of more blended travel means that everyone from travel providers to hoteliers will need to consider how to accommodate an audience for whom the lines between business and leisure travel are increasingly blurred.
The Best Destinations for Remote Workers
In light of the increasing popularity of remote working, it is important to consider the top destinations for this type of traveller. Nomadlist has identified its top ten destinations based on growth in popularity over the last five years. Knowing where to recommend for this all-important travel profile is key to understanding the changing trends in travel for both business and leisure travellers.
And as one of the top travel trends for 2023 for hotel owners, it’s important to know where to recommend for this all-important travel profile.
Notably, Japan has secured three of the top ten spots, indicating that it is a key destination to promote for 2023. This is especially pertinent as Japan is now open to international travelers for the first time in three years. Momondo has also compiled an interesting list of global destinations for remote workers, which includes Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Japan.
So, with this in mind, we can explore some of these destinations and why they’re popular for remote workers. Even if you are not located in these trending destinations, understanding how to appeal to the remote worker will stand you in good stead against your competition, and entice this valuable audience.
Visas available: Tourist visa
Recent evidence indicates that remote working is not a widely accepted practice in Japan; 10% of the workforce was observed to be engaged in remote working prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a figure that increased to 20% during the pandemic. Nonetheless, for remote working clients seeking to take advantage of their 'work from anywhere' status, Japan is an attractive option. It offers modern infrastructure, a lively nightlife, and a vibrant culture at a price that is more affordable than many travellers initially anticipate. As such, it is a desirable destination for remote workers.
Tokyo, Japan's capital city, is a great destination for digital nomads, offering a wide range of amenities such as cafes with free Wi-Fi, coworking opportunities, exquisite cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife. Additionally, the public transportation system is quick, clean, and reliable, making it easy to explore the rest of the country.
Osaka, often cited as one of the world's most liveable cities, offers a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere than its bustling counterpart Tokyo, making it an ideal destination for remote workers seeking an urban lifestyle at a slower pace. Similarly, Kyoto, Osaka's more peaceful sister city, is the ideal place for clients who prefer a more tranquil environment. While the city has many popular tourist attractions such as the renowned Kyoto Temple, the atmosphere in Kyoto is relatively calm, reminiscent of a countryside town - however coworking places are a little harder to come by.
Visas available: New workcation visa set to launch in 2023
South Korea recently announced the introduction of more expansive workcation visas for 2023 - the K-Culture and Workcation visas - which will provide foreign nationals with an opportunity to work and explore the country for an extended period. These visas may offer an attractive option for those considering remote work, as they will enable a more immersive experience of life in South Korea. While the specifics of the visas have yet to be confirmed, this promises to be a lucrative opportunity for those seeking to take their work abroad.
The Korean government has also announced plans to improve the current online travel authorization process (known as K-ETA) to make it easier for visitors to enter and leave the country.
The current movement of travellers and younger demographics wanting to appreciate and experience the culture of South Korea – termed ‘Hallyu’ – presents the perfect opportunity for you as hotel owners to accommodate long-term travellers in South Korea. Not only is this destination renowned for its vibrant culture and exciting nightlife, particularly in the capital city of Seoul, the country has plenty of cafes and shops that cater to remote workers, as well as convenient and reliable internet access. Not to mention the ease of traveling to stunning destinations like Jeju Island and Busan from Seoul using its many public transport links!
The integration of comfortable workspaces with accessible Wi-Fi, central locations and bustling culture hubs is important to remote workers – and so as a hotel owner its important you consider where your hotel excels in these areas, and where you may need to improve your offerings to attract this type of traveller.
Visas available: Temporary Stay Visa (designed for digital nomads specifically)
For remote workers who have easy access to Europe (and even those who don’t, for those serious about working anywhere) Portugal is a great place to get away and experience some new surroundings while working that ‘9-5’.
Lisbon has become increasingly attractive to workcation travellers in recent years due to its relative affordability in comparison to other countries in Europe and its availability of internet-equipped cafes. In addition, its unique nightlife, delicious cuisine, and picturesque cityscapes speak to its reputation as a vibrant, capital European city - and it’s also one of the only European capitals to be flanked by beaches, which is a bonus for any traveller.
Plus, on the more practical side, Portugal has a NHR (non-habitual resident) program, which gives remote workers favourable tax rates during their stay in the country. Lisbon was also voted as the most popular place to work remotely in 2022, which just cements its status as one of the best cities to live and work for remote working audiences!
Visa options: Freelancer visa (though this does have restrictions)
When it comes to ranking factors like cybersecurity, cost of living, and digital and physical infrastructure, there aren’t many countries that can out-do Germany - especially in the battle for the title of ‘best place for remote working’ in 2023.
Germany, situated conveniently in Central Europe, is a haven for remote workers looking to work in an already established, thriving remote working environment. With bustling cities, coworking spaces, and a vibrant cultural and artistic capital in Berlin - Germany is a great destination for those looking for an international working experience. When it comes to visas for remote workers however, it is important to note that non-European citizens may find the process to be more challenging, as these visas are restricted to specific professions that the country deems 'liberal'.
Visa options: Digital nomad visa (in development), or using the Startup Act
It is easy to understand why Spain is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for remote workers. From Mallorca’s island-like atmosphere surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to Barcelona's and Valencia's urban buzz, there are a variety of locations that are sure to appeal to everyone. Barcelona even made the list of the top 10 most visited locations in 2022 by remote workers, which provides ample evidence to its growing popularity. Those seeking beaches should definitely consider Mallorca, Gran Canaria, and Tarifa, while Valencia, Barcelona, and Granada offer the perfect urban experience.
As well as the bustling cities mentioned, Spain benefits remote workers who enjoy quieter locations with high-speed internet connections even in more rural towns; many of which offer original programs to attract new residents to supplement dwindling populations. As hotel owners, how might you work with local councils or ruling bodies to ensure maximum exposure?
Of course, working with experts in global distribution like Hotelbeds ensures that your hotel, no matter its location, is shown to the ideal audience at the perfect time, using our wealth of data to inform where we promote your properties. This also means that more rural properties which are still perfectly suited for remote workers still receive that all-important exposure to the right travel buyer.
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Visa options: ESTA for up to 90 days (multiple entry)
Of course, considering the breadth and sheer scope of the USA, it’s impossible to create a list of the best destinations for digital nomads in 2023 without including this behemoth of a continent with each of its 50 states all offering unique cultures and opportunities.
Recently, SmartAsset conducted a study ranking the top 10 best places for remote workers in the United States. From the 100 cities surveyed, Austin, Texas was the clear frontrunner. With nearly 40% of its population already working from home, Austin offers an attractive and cost-effective opportunity for remote workers with its vibrant and creative atmosphere, as well as its lack of a state income tax.
After analysing a variety of factors, including housing costs, income, unemployment and coffee shop/bar density, this survey also determined that Scottsdale and Mesa of Arizona, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia of Pennsylvania, Nashville of Tennessee, and Durham and Charlotte of North Carolina all provide excellent opportunities for digital nomads. These cities were chosen for their practical factors as well as their appeal and amenities to the travelling worker.
Of course, there are many destinations for remote workers that provide amazing backdrops during laptop time, these are just a few of the most popular!
To easily reach remote workers looking for their perfect home-from-home while they work, register your property
today to maximise your exposure to this valuable audience. Our expert teams can also provide insightful feedback on current trends, opportunities and demands from travellers which would benefit your hotel(s).
to begin maximising your booking rates by positioning your hotel(s) as an unmissable home-from-home location for this valuable remote working traveller.