Malaga (EFE) and tailor-made services for these valued professionals.
With skilled jobs and salaries that are usually higher than average, digital nomads can work exclusively remotely and therefore live anywhere in the world with only one requirement: internet access.
Hence, many countries, such as Portugal, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia or Spain, have implemented different strategies to attract these remote workers, such as the implementation of tax advantages or the creation of visas that, in the Spanish case, will allow Self-employed professionals and foreign employees enter and reside in national territory for a period of up to five years.
Spain does not want to miss out on a phenomenon that is expanding and neither do its cities. From Barcelona to Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas or Madrid, there are many towns that have created platforms to attract these professionals and make it easier for them to land. The race to seduce the coveted digital talents has only just begun.
The Canary Islands, the first Spanish destination
When choosing where to settle, remote workers take into account aspects such as security, taxation, good transport connections, quality of life and, above all, good weather. In this sense, the Canary Islands stand out as the first Spanish destination for digital nomads.
According to Nomad List, the reference portal for professionals seeking to work remotely, Gran Canaria is the seventh best place in the world to telework, behind Bangkok (Thailand), Ericeira (Portugal), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lisbon (Portugal). ), Bali (Indonesia) and Chiang Mai (Thailand), and leads the national ranking, followed by two other islands in the archipelago: Fuerteventura and Tenerife.
To win positions in this arena, the Cabildo de Tenerife, through the Work & Play brand, has created a platform “so that those who want to come to work on the island have it easier”, and the Fuerteventura Tourist Board has promoted a campaign to attract teleworkers attracted by the climate, the beaches, the gastronomy and the wide range of active tourism offered by the destination.
The Canary Islands wants to become a “base destination” for Europe for teleworkers from all over the world and for this reason it has been one of the first regions to launch promotional campaigns among this segment of visitors.
Facilities to settle on the Costa del Sol
Also Andalusia, and especially the Costa del Sol, has become a preferred destination for digital nomads and the Andalusian administrations have spared no effort to reinforce this position, making the destination known in international markets.
At the end of last year, the Board launched a campaign to attract foreign professionals, especially senior managers and managers with high purchasing power linked to the online world, and town halls such as those of Malaga or Seville have designed their own actions to attract digital talent .
Through ‘La Fábrica de Sevilla’, the Seville town hall has launched itself into the race to attract emerging technology companies and these professionals, for which it is planning promotional campaigns and has created an office to help them with administrative procedures.
A similar project has been launched by the capital of the Costa del Sol with ‘Málaga WorkBay’, a platform that seeks to attract national and international teleworkers, offering them all the information they need to be able to work or undertake, such as services, transport or accommodation.
The call from Malaga seems to have had an answer: since it was launched, in February 2021, and until December 2022, the ‘Málaga WorkBay’ website has received 162,061 visits, corresponding to 47,747 different users.
Alicante and Valencia climb positions
In the Valencian Community, the province of Alicante has climbed almost 200 places worldwide in the Nomad List classification and the Alicante capital has been positioning itself as one of the preferred destinations for this group for two years, according to what Pablo Torres, from the Consulting firm Torres Consulting.
The digital nomads who arrive in the capital of the Costa Blanca, says Torres, are usually professionals from the US or central and northern European countries, with higher education, most of them men, with an average age of around 33-35 years old and an average stay of three months.
Alicante is one of the cheapest cities in Spain for digital nomads, since they only need 1,625 euros a month to cover their needs, and it also has the Digital District of the Valencian Community, destined to be a pole of attraction for technology companies.
In the city of Valencia, although there is no official data from public institutions, according to Nomad List there are currently 2,000 digital nomads and the trend is that their numbers will almost double in the next year, reports from the City Council.
Among other measures, the council has promoted the ‘Vlc tech City’ model as an engine for economic growth and the generation and retention of talent, and services such as ‘Invest in València’, to attract local and international talent, also aimed at digital nomads.
Since its launch, this office has attracted 14 companies to the Valencian capital, generating an investment of 5.46 million euros and 673 jobs.
Barcelona, pole of attraction for digital talent
In Barcelona, the country’s second city, neither the Generalitat nor the main technological reference entities have indicative data on how many digital nomads are settled in the city, although they all assume that it is one of the Spanish towns with the greatest presence of these types of profiles.
According to a study by Barcelona Digital Talent, an initiative of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation, the city attracted more than 4,700 foreign digital professionals in 2021, such that they represent more than 30% of employees in the sector in the capital Catalan, which has a large presence of shared work spaces.
Along the same lines, an analysis by Acció, an agency of the Generalitat, indicates that 23% of the workers of emerging companies in Barcelona are foreigners.
Private associations such as Barcelona Global claim that the city should position itself as one of the main destinations for digital nomads in Europe, and for this the Turisme de Barcelona consortium launched a campaign in 2021 to facilitate the establishment of these professionals in the city.
The center and north claim their place
They are not on the shores of the Mediterranean nor do they have such temperate climates, but in this struggle to attract digital talent, the cities of central and northern Spain are also claiming to be the ideal place to telework.
Last year, Airbnb and the Madrid City Council created a program to attract start-up entrepreneurs and remote workers. Not surprisingly, the Spanish capital is among the fifteen most sought after in the world for a long-term stay through this accommodation platform.
Good Wi-Fi and transport connections, a wide cultural, leisure and gastronomic offer, history and a wide network of co-working spaces are some of Madrid’s assets as a destination for digital nomads.
On the Cantabrian shores, regions such as Asturias or Cantabria have also launched plans to attract digital nomads and place themselves on the world map of teleworking, where everyone wants to be.