British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

Pandemic to paradise: This OT has found a way to revive tourism

Pandemic to paradise: This OT has found a way to revive tourism

As Caribbean tourism remains on life-support due to the impact of COVID-19, the Cayman Islands is the latest country to implement a ‘work from paradise’ package, enticing visitors to work and vacation in the Overseas Territory for longer periods.
According to a news release from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, the territory launched the “Global Citizen Concierge Program — a tourism initiative designed for digital nomads looking to take advantage of the flexibility provided by remote work.”

“As thousands of corporations opt to keep their workforce at-home for the foreseeable future, eligible professionals and families can upgrade their home offices significantly, by choosing to live and work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years by acquiring a Global Citizen Certificate,” the news release explained.

Using this avenue, the Cayman Islands will be able to keep tourism alive while giving socially-distanced visitors access to warm weather and a beautiful tropical backdrop.

It’s the new trend currently overtaking the global tourism sphere. With a widespread fear of travel, Caribbean destinations with low COVID-19 rates are trying to revive their tourism by encouraging people to move their home office overseas and vacation for longer periods.

Already Barbados and Anguilla have implemented the scheme to lure professionals to work in paradise.

Barbados, the first in the Caribbean to explore the option, started offering a “Welcome Stamp” in June, allowing tourists to live and work on the island for one year.

The application cost is $US2,000 per individual or $US3,000 for a family.

As of mid-September, Barbados reported earning of more than $1 million from the programme. The country also said their social media pages are racking up numbers of interested persons all over the world.

Other Caribbean countries that have implemented digital nomads packages include Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic. Latin American countries like Panama that are also heavily dependent on tourism, have been cashing in on the niche market as well.

Premier Andrew Fahie has stated that the BVI’s Financial Services Industry has taken a hit in recent times, adding that his government recently passed Gambling and Cannabis bills in an effort to diversify the economy.

The revenue that can be earned from ‘work from paradise’ visa fees and the business such tourists can offer to local entrepreneurs could be the lifeblood that the BVI’s tourism industry needs right now.

With no active COVID-19 cases, a push to diversify the tourism product and economy, the question remains: could this be a viable option for the BVI?

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