Four Ways to Refresh Remote Work Visa Programs

June 23, 2022

Programs allowing people to work from Caribbean beaches or other exotic locations are beginning to look alike, making it time to refresh remote work visa offers. The Barbados Welcome Stamp was a groundbreaking response during the pandemic, but, today, copycats abound. That’s not to say, however, that they are not great initiatives to bring more attention – and visitor spending – to your local communities within your destination.

The challenge now is making your specific work visa program stand out from all the others.

Moving forward, as life begins to look vaguely as it once did, there will still be plenty of opportunities to attract remote workers throughout the year. Of course many companies are urging workers back to the office, but that won’t be the case for everyone, especially those who broke from traditional roles to work as freelancers and entrepreneurs. The possibility of working in a foreign or exotic destination remains more a reality than it ever had before 2020.

All that said, it’s time to think about ways to make existing remote work visa programs attractive in new ways. They are familiar to most people now, so destinations will want to refresh their remote work visa programs. Let’s look at four ways destinations can spice up their offer to attract remote workers to come and stay – and spend – for a while.

1. Provide Incentives

While the whole idea behind remote work programs is to stimulate local economies, a little extra incentive will help remote workers choose your destination over more than three dozen others in the mix.

Some programs, at least in the U.S., offer outright financial incentives, but your destination can take a different approach if money isn’t in the cards. Perhaps there’s a small business incubator in your destination that you can offer access to, making your destination seem like a more surefire professional choice.

Consider organizing discounts for remote workers at local partners, including restaurants and tour operators. Not only will this show them that you are invested in having them live for a while, but it will also encourage them to spend money in your local partners, helping keep everyone pleased.

Get creative based on what you have at your disposal and what you have time to organize, but simply having an appealing destination alone will not help you  stand out from the dozens of other appealing destinations doing the same. A bit of a refresh to remote work visas in your destination, however, will help it shine.

2. Create Networking Events

A big hurdle for many people in participating in these programs is perceived solitude. Of course they will meet people once in your destination. But creating a network for them to slide into – a welcoming committee of sorts – could be a clever way to make your destination seem more appealing with a simple refresh of your remote work visa offer.

It could take the form of a local ambassador who will welcome new remote workers. Or perhaps there is a monthly dining event for remote workers and locals to help create a sense of community. Less for professional means and more for personal ones, this sort of outlet into which remote workers can plug into easily helps them feel more secure choosing one destination over another where they are destined to remain permanent outsiders.

3. Highlight Success Stories

The press continues to eat up stories about freelancers working in foreign locations, so be sure your destination is one of those locations. Look at the remote workers who have come and enjoyed their stay. Put them forward for people looking to apply for a remote work visa and help show that your destination is a winning choice. 

Talk to veterans of the program. Get their testimonies. Create video content of their favorite experiences or addresses. Generate content that will not only inspire other remote workers, but provide them practical information to help them in their journey to your destination.

4. Make it Easier for Families

One thing to keep in mind is that remote work can be particularly taxing on families, but they also represent larger spending potential in general. Parents who are willing to bring their kids want to know that it will be easy to apply and live abroad for a few months to a year. 

To that end, make it easier for them by lowering application fees and showcasing all of the family friendly experiences in your destination. Once they arrive, they’ll be renting larger accommodations, feeding more mouths, and spending more money overall in your destination. Your local community will thank you!

Looking to refresh your remote work visa programs now that the world is settling into a more measured and less hectic phase of the pandemic? It’s not a bad idea, but tap into DCI’s more than ten years of destination marketing experience, including remote work programs, to make sure your destination stands out from the pack. Contact Karyl Leigh Barnes at [email protected] to learn more.