Most countries have seen the need to try and convince nomadic digital workers to move away from the regular tourist cities, and rather start their careers in the countryside. And with an increasing number of countries looking for creative ways to lure the new generation of remote workers, Spain, a hugely popular destination for holiday goers, has decided to join the fray with its plan to introduce a visa for digital nomads.
Through its digital nomad visa, the Iberian country will allow digital workers to live legally in the country for up to 1 year (12 months). And to underline the importance of this plan, a National Network of Welcoming Towns has already been set up with a mandate to focus attention on smaller, countryside towns that have been facing decreasing populations. So, instead of working in Pamplona or Barcelona, digital nomads will be encouraged to stay away from the usual tourist crowds and cities.
Rural Spain is facing a problem with a shortage of job opportunities which has resulted in dwindling populations in a lot of small towns and villages, however, these places are fully ready to receive remote workers. It is anticipated that the inflow of people working remotely from home will help in the revitalisation of communities.
The National Network of Welcoming Towns initiative already has a Spanish language-only website and about 30 members comprising of villages and towns from different parts of Spain. The common denominator with all these localities is that they have less than 5000 residents, which guarantees a truly rural experience for inhabitants. Even though they can cater to different tastes when it comes to scenery and living budgets, these are places that preserve the real charm of Spain’s glorious past.
Under the initiative, remote workers will get an opportunity to connect instantly with a host. The job of the host is to welcome them to the town and show them around. This solves the usual problem of moving to a new location and feeling out of place there.
An interactive map of the countryside towns is available, along with a comparison of their various living costs which are presented in euros per week.