City of Cape Town, in conjunction with Cape Town Tourism (CTT), today (Monday, February 22) launched its Digital Nomad initiative – which aims to encourage domestic and international audiences to consider Cape Town as a remote working destination.

This follows news earlier this year that Cape Town had made the 2021 list for the 50 Best Cities for Remote Working.

“These ‘digital nomads’ are a new kind of tourist, who will stay in our province for three months instead of three weeks, enjoying our tourism offer while working on their laptops,” explained Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, in his State of the Province Address  (Sopa) last week.

To cater for this news breed of traveller, Winde said South Africa urgently needed to introduce a ‘Remote Working Visa’. “We will lobby both President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, to introduce this visa as soon as possible.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos, said the Mother City would initially aim its campaign at the domestic market, rolling it out to the international market “when it is safe to do so”.

“We are seeing innovation within the tourism sector to accommodate the changed behaviour of remote working by offering affordable long-term stays, including other benefits required to work remotely and we will expand this message through the broad range of products and businesses who can use a leg up in this challenging time,” said Vos.

Cape Town’s key source markets, including the 11 countries with visa-free access to South Africa, could take advantage of this trend when international travel “is back up and running”, he added.

Vos reiterated Winde’s call for a Remote Working Visa once the campaign was rolled out to international travelers.

“Many leading tourism destinations in the world have a type of Remote Working Visa already, and we should have one too. I will therefore engage my national counterpart to make a business case for the introduction of a Remote Working Visa to benefit the tourism industry, as it increases commercial activity and demand and growth for many more industries that lead to jobs and skills,” he said.

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