Croatian Digital Nomad Lifestyle Trending #1 on CNBC News

Total Croatia News

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CNBC screenshot
CNBC screenshot

They say that success breeds success.

And when it comees to tourism promotion, there is nothing better than word of mouth recommendations from family and friends. A hidden gem recommended by an enthusiastic friend, backed up with incredible photos and tales of a wondrous land work much better than expensive advertising campaigns. 

Croatia has thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of such word of mouth promoters, whose experiences are opening up Croatian tourism to new tourists. And a new sector of willing promoters has arrived – digital nomads. 

There has been a lot of buzz about Croatia and the digital nomad permit since Jan de Jong wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic back in May 2020. Reaction was mixed, with many locals wondering what was in it for Croatia – allowing foreigners to come and live and work remotely in Croatia without paying any local income tax. 

Takeup of the 12-month visa has been a little slow to take off, but there has been a noticeable rise in the number of digital nomads for whom Croatia is on their radar for the first time. Nomadic by definition, worcations of 1-3 months seem to be the most popular (no permit required), and the general feedback being shared is that Croatia is a great destination with its outstanding food, wine, nature, coast, culture, safety, Internet, affordability, accessibility, and excellent English.  

One nomad who is reaching a larger network of people through his excellent photo and videography is American Steve Tsentserenky, who was one of the first to obtain the 12-month permit earlier this year (read his experience in this TCN piece). 

Total Croatia – Zagreb in a Page – Canopy by Hilton from on Vimeo.

Steve has been showcasing some of his work on TCN with both his photography in our Croatia Through the Lens of a Digital Nomad Permit Holder series, as well as some excellent videos in the TC Destinations in a Page series, including Zagreb above and Zadar below. Fantastic images which are proving very popular and are one more great free promo of Croatia.

But this weekend, Steve has gone one better, with a detailed breakdown of his lifestyle and cost of living in Croatia, compared to back home in the States. With a total monthly spend of $1,424 (compared to just average rent in New Jersey of $2,779), the case for a more affordable remote lifestyle in Croatia is clear. Add to that the quality of life, as Steve explains in the accompanying video in his piece for CNBC News, and the case for Croatia as a remote work destination is a little more compelling. 

Good news too for the Croatian economy. A spend of $17,000 a year (the majority of which is within Croatia), in addition to the constant free promotion, is not a bad return for having someone stay for 12 months without taking any job from a local. Increase that number to 100 remote workers, then a thousand, then… There is a simple roadmap to growing this potentially lucrative sector, as well as breathing life back into communities which traditionally die in the winter months when the conventional tourists have left. 


And it seems that Steve’s story has struck a chord. His article has been trending as the top story on CNBC all morning. A little like the story of the digital nomad permit itself, which got massive free global coverage due to the pro bono efforts of a Dutch entrepreneur, small initiatives with zero budget can have a big effect. As Steve explains in his video, he first heard of the visa opportunity in a TCN article last August. And the rest is history. 

Croatia has a fantastic opportunity to develop its tourism around this remote work opportunity, focusing on its safety, authenticity and lifestyle. The feedback from nomads here has been broadly very positive. All we need to do now is to continue telling the story. Ambassadors such as Steve are very welcome, as they make the job much easier. 

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check  out the dedicated TCN section


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