August 3, 2020 – Tourism is changing, and Croatia is in pole position to take advantage. Is it time for the digital nomad visa?
Imagine you came on holiday to a beautiful country like Croatia. You dipped your toes into the azure waters of the Adriatic, sent your Instagram photos back to your friends, who would surely be on the next plane. And, as you sipped on a cold beer, contemplating which of the 1,185 idyllic islands you would explore next with your remote working lifestyle, the perfect picture becomes tinged with sadness.
For you are not the right type of foreigner, and your access to this paradise is time-limited.
Never mind that you are spending heavily in the bars and restaurants.
Never mind that your Instagram posts are bringing your high-spending friends to this Adriatic heaven – for a while at least – so that they too can enjoy, spend and inspire their friends to travel.
All things must come to an end, for foreigners can only visit for a finite time, and then they must return whence they came. For this is Croatian bureaucracy, baby.
Croatia is blessed with the most beautiful country in Europe, bar none. It has developed the best lifestyle in Europe, bar none.
If it could only be blessed with common sense, the future is incredibly bright.
Estonia has done it.
Barbados has done it.
Georgia has done it.
And they are all set to – or already are – benefit big time.
A simple vision.
A simple piece of legislation.
The digital nomad visa.
More and more people – wealth-creating people – are working in the same global office. It is called the Internet. There are only two variables in the office – connectivity (3G, 4G, 5G) and time zones. Apart from that, the office can be almost anywhere in the world.
When people leave the office, they go home. Some go home to their friends and family in the village of their birth, but a growing number come home to – and spend money in – a home which is based on lifestyle.
Leave the office and have a swim in the Adriatic before dinner, that kind of thing.
If Croatia has the best lifestyle in Europe, and more and more wealth- (and job) creating entrepreneurs working remotely are looking for lifestyle opportunities, has Croatia ever had a better opportunity to redefine its tourism on sustainability and a future direction based on safety, healthy living, lifestyle and authentic experiences?
A simple match made in heaven.
So what is needed to make this work? A tiny compromise from the infamous Croatian bureaucracy.
A digital nomad visa
Rather than restrict a wealth-creating foreign entrepreneur with his beach time, why not encourage them to come, relax, enjoy the lifestyle, inspire the mindset… and spend?
Estonia – with the highest number of unicorns per capita in the world – has led the way. Georgia has done it. Barbados has done it.
Why not Croatia, and let’s make Dubrovnik, the digital nomad visa lifestyle capital of Europe.
Is it so hard?
One successful Dutch entrepreneur living in Split, Jad de Jong, doesn’t think so. He recently wrote to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, asking the Croatian leader to introduce a digital nomad visa.
After all, as a tourism country that has no interest in limiting tourist time at the beach, why would we want to restrict tourist enjoyment of the lifestyle?
For more on the digtial nomad debate in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.