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Work and Wander: Meet Today’s Digital Nomads


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Work and Wander: Meet Today’s Digital Nomads


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global spike in remote work. However, most people known as “remote workers” have a home base such as a house or apartment, where they spend most of their time. They may travel and work from a different location for a few days or weeks, but then return to their home base. Digital nomads are different; they are a cross between the long-term expat and the two-week vacationer. 

A few key findings about digital nomads:

  • Reliable internet is the #1 top must-have for destinations and accommodations, followed by good weather and a low cost of living.
  • Most digital nomads (who responded to ATTA’s survey) freelance for multiple companies (36%) or own their own business (33%).
  • Being able to travel constantly and experiencing different cultures and meeting local people are the top reasons for living the digital nomad lifestyle.
  • 20% of respondents became digital nomads during 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19.
  • The top challenges faced by digital nomads are always being available and working too much, uncertainty, and loneliness.
  • On average, 36% of respondents’ monthly earnings pay for lodging, food, and transportation; this revenue typically stays within a destination.
  • Respondents spend almost half as much on food as they do on lodging each month, showing cuisine as a priority.
  • Indonesia was the only country to be top-ranked for all lengths of stays.

Although digital nomads may not be a traditional target market for adventure businesses, their very nature makes them adventure travelers. This group wants to truly experience a destination by staying for an extended period of time. Their ability to work from anywhere means they are also generating income while they travel. Therefore, attracting digital nomads is one way destinations, accommodations, and activities can support their recovery.