Dubrovnik Embraces Digital Nomads: October EF Week Events, April International Competition

Total Croatia News

Photo credit Romulic & Stojcic

Photo credit Romulic & Stojcic

September 28, 2020 – Croatia, the lifestyle destination welcomes lifestyle workers, as Dubrovnik digital nomads embraced with a new tourism initiative.

These are heady days for Croatia 2.0, with a gentle breeze of change blowing across Croatia. While the coronavirus caused severe damage to the global economy and tourism industry, it also forced countries to look at the current status quo and to find ways of adapting to the new reality. The traditions of bloated bureaucracy and mass tourism are clearly not sustainable, and the crisis has advanced the cause of digitalisation considerably, as well as focusing the debate on more sustainable tourism and embracing new tourism trends. 

Perhaps the most exciting development in this regard has been the readiness of Croatia to ride the wave of the digital nomad revolution, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed that Croatia would be only the second country in Europe (and the fifth in the world) to introduce the new digital nomad visa. This visa enables bona fide remote workers from any country to live and work in the country, provided they can prove some basic requirements, such as health insurance, no criminal record, and a certain level of income. With more than one billion remote workers projected by 2035, many of whose are looking for lifestyle as a key living factor. The potential of Croatia – arguably the lifestyle capital of Europe – to accommodate this new dynamic, wealth-creating and mindset-changing sector, is exciting indeed. The introduction of the new visa, which has already been introduced to the Croatian Parliament and is expected to become law in 2021, will enable Croatia to attract a new type of tourist. A tourist who will stay not for a week on the beach in peak season, but in various locations across the country for a month, three, even a year, while enjoying the true gems that Croatia has to offer – safety, authentic experiences, and lifestyle. 


One city which has been quick to grasp the potential of the new opportunity has been Dubrovnik, which is looking at ways to diversify its dependence on cruise and mass tourism. Total Croatia News, in partnership with the City of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, and Croatian-based remote work and lifestyle specialists, Saltwater, is delighted to announce the first concrete steps to position Dubrovnik as an attractive lifestyle and digital nomad destination. 

Symbolically located in the infamous former quarantine quarter, the Lazareti, on the edge of the city walls (the Dubrovnik Republic was the birthplace of quarantine back in 1377), Dubrovnik will host a series of events, both in real life (IRL) and virtual, during European Freelancer Week (October 16 – 25). The event, which will also be streamed live, will also be shown in several other cities simultaneously through the Saltwater network, further broadening the coverage of this new initiative. The October event will be a precursor to a much bigger initiative in Spring 2021, when an international digital nomad competition will bring 10 lucky winners to the Pearl of the Adriatic for a month as guests of the city. During this time, they will work with the city authorities and tourist board to develop strategies for the development of Dubrovnik as a lifestyle and digital nomad destination. 


On a personal note, and after many years of dealing with local authorities in Croatia, I have been very impressed not only in the way that the Dubrovnik authorities have embraced the opportunity, but also how proactive they have been in pushing it forward. I first presented the concept to Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic back in July, who immediately gave the green light and set things in motion. Several subsequent meetings with Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic and Dubrovnik Tourist Board Director Ana Hrnic, have led to today’s announcement. Saltwater founder Tanja Polegubic was in Dubrovnik last week to finalise details for the October event, as well as looking forward to the larger initiative next Spring. 


(TCN presenting the digital nomad concept to Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic on July 21, 2020)

The speed of acceptance of this digital nomad initiative is one which will no doubt be acknowledged by one of the keynote speakers at next month’s events – Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong. An avid Total Croatia News reader, de Jong came across the digital nomad opportunity back in May via TCN while researching for a presentation at a tourism conference. A few months later, an open letter to the prime minister on his LinkedIn profile asking for the introduction of a digital nomad visa for Croatia set off a chain of events which resulted in PM Plenkovic announcing a digital nomad visa for Croatia on Twitter just 44 days later. 

The breeze of change of Croatia 2.0 is gathering strength. 


(Keynote speaker Dr. Wallace J. Nichols)

The full programme and registration process will be published shortly on TCN, but I am also excited to mention the top keynote speaker for Dubrovnik’s European Freelancer Event in October. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is a marine biologist and author of the NY Times Bestseller, Blue Mind. Known simply as ‘J’, Dr. Nichols will speak about productivity and wellbeing, especially for digital nomads. You can learn more about J by supporting him on Patreon. Check out his Blue Mind Movie Sizzle Reel video.

We will publish more details about this new Dubrovnik initiative shortly. Who is this for? If you are: 

  • A digital nomad planning to be in Croatia from October 16 to 25, Dubrovnik will be an interesting destination.
  • A tourism business wanting to adjust your business to become digital nomad friendly.
  • A city council in Croatia anticipating the arrival of digital nomads entering with the incoming digital nomad visa.This is the premier event to follow online and in person if you are in Dubrovnik, 16-25 October.

Given the increased interest in the digital nomad revolution, TCN recently started a dedicated section – catch the latest news from the remote working world in Croatia here



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