When legions of office employees were sent to work from home last year, a new generation of digital nomads was born. Countries around the world began competing for their attention by launching long-stay visa programs designed specifically for remote workers, but now, Portugal is taking things to the next level. The Portuguese archipelago of Madeira is creating a "digital nomad village."
Digital Nomads Madeira is a project that will host up to 100 remote workers at a time in the town of Ponta do Sol, home to just 8,200 inhabitants.
Phase one of the project will start on Feb. 1 and last through June 30, 2021. Participants will be provided with a free working space featuring a desk and chair, access to a Slack community, and free internet from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at the John dos Passos Cultural Centre in the village, Lonely Planet reports. The experience will also include fun activities for the digital nomads, as well as other events that will facilitate connections between participants and the local community.
The project is a joint effort between the regional government of Madeira, Startup Madeira, and digital nomad Gonçalo Hall. "We have partnered with different local businesses such as real estate and rental car companies," Hall told 150sec in an interview. "The goal is to help the local community benefit from the social and economic impact that such an initiative can have."
According to 150sec, if all goes well with phase one, Hall and his partners hope to implement a second initiative in Madeira and launch similar venture in several rural areas of Portugal.
Applications for the program are currently open and anyone who plans to participate must commit to staying in Ponta do Sol for at least one month. For more information, visit the official Digital Nomads Madeira website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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