European cities are targeting digital nomads with these new locations

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Tourist boards across Europe are urged to consider diverting part of their budget from attracting traditional tourists to digital nomads.

The main draw is that they tend to stay longer and have more disposable income, says destination marketing agency Toposophy in a new report it released with Marketing of European cities. This money also tends to be spent over a wider geographical area, as nomads prefer to research new places.

What’s more, digital nomads can even help alleviate the growing problem of labor shortages and “refresh” the local job market, according to chief information officer Peter Jordan. “Some cities may also want to broaden their search not just for visitors, but also for global talent,” he said at an online launch event. “Most cities want to increase the pool of flexible skilled workers because it creates a more attractive business investment environment.”

The hardest part is convincing them to visit a city in the first place, and it will be important to get the right messages across over the coming months as cities seek to recover from the pandemic.

Roll them up

As any self-respecting tour operator will agree, a well-defined package holds the key. The report outlines free internet, event listings and partnerships with local coworking spaces and accommodation providers, as well as a dedicated tourist information center.

“Combine them to create a complete package. Digital nomads can then take that into account when looking at the city,” Kash Bhattacharya, Toposophy blogger outreach specialist and founder of The Budget Traveler, added at the same event. “My biggest recommendation is to try to make the whole process as transparent as possible. It’s a competitive market, so have a clear plan of incentives.

Bhattacharya also said tourist boards could partner with other associations. “At the extreme, the dating site Nomad Soulmates, which organizes conferences, brings in influencers.”

They can also register on the Coworking wiki and use the Telegram messaging platform to create a community for their city.

“Having access to local communities is what nomads like me look for when we arrive at our destination,” he said. “Tourist offices do not have to host the events themselves, but at least have a list of activities that hostels or coworking spaces organize. It’s just a matter of joining the dots and grouping them into a single area of ​​your website.

The report cites Santa Fiora, in the Italian region of Tuscany, as a good example of what a dedicated microsite can look like.

Number tracking

A second challenge for tourist offices will be how to assess and quantify their success. With Covid still restricting travel, there is an upheaval in patterns and data due to rapid decision border openings and closures. It is difficult to see a clear picture of their contribution.

Croatia, for example, generated more revenue from foreign tourists during the summer months of 2021 than it ever has in the past, according to the Croatian National Bank. In fact, the country’s third quarter of 2021 recorded revenue of $7.7 billion, which is double the revenue generated during the same period in 2020. Cities like Zadar have also made significant progress in the development of remote work programs during the crisis.

“Counting is an important aspect, but it’s something destination marketing organizations will also need to address,” said Jordan of Toposophy.

Croatia also quickly dropped quarantine measures for vaccinated tourists, making it more attractive than other European destinations, according to a European Travel Commission report on trends and outlook.

“In a way, digital nomadism is an interesting trend because it helps areas that used to fall short of leisure travel patterns to become new destinations because they can offer things like connectivity, housing, level of education, taxation and social life, which is attractive for this type of traveler,” said Eric Dresin, Secretary General of the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

The association said it was in favor of any initiative likely to help resume travel, whatever the form.

“In terms of diverting a portion of marketing budgets to digital nomads, we do believe that will happen; however, the trend is too recent to say how big the share will be,” Dresin added.

Notes

The future of work was discussed during the unveiling of Skift’s Megatrends 2022 report on Wednesday. It has proven to be one of the reasons private equity group Certares has doubled down on the business travel sector, according to its chief executive.

“We believe travel management will continue to be a valuable service for businesses,” said Tom Klein. “In fact, post-pandemic, although the patterns may change, the focus is on people and employees, and bringing them together and creating a community within your company is really something that CEOs won’t say for keep them from sleeping, but it keeps them from sleeping at night.”

Certares is in the process of merging one of its investments, American Express Global Business Travel, with a blank check company backed by asset manager Apollo to become a publicly traded company.

At the other end of the scale, Kayak’s CEO had a few words to say about the big corporate travel agencies at the Megatrends event, which aired live from New York.

“Unlike TripActions or TravelPerk or their ilk, we actually have a lot of people who already use Kayak and know our brand,” CEO Steve Hafner said. “All we had to do was sell Kayak for Business on the front door of our website and we get the signups, especially when we’re not charging people for it.”

Kayak for Business says it has grown to 10,000 customers since its official launch in July 2021, when it had 3,000 customers. Last week, it integrated Southwest Airlines into its platform.

Speaking of recent fundraising activity, he added: “Valuations are totally divorced from the market opportunity. When I see a corporate travel agency like TripActions or TravelPerk raise a ton of dough at a $7 billion valuation, I’m like “someone is going to lose a lot of money on this.” And it won’t be me.

Some of these assessments will be proven, or not, in the years to come, as CEOs make up their minds about the future of work.

10 second catch up on business trips

Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: 5G rollout, Airbnb, Diversity Travel, Etihad Airways, Global Business Travel Association, Hawaiian Airlines, Hilton, Norse Atlantic, Oyo, Pfizer, Skift Megatrends 2022, Sonder, Virgin Atlantic.

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