Barbados is the number one Caribbean destination for executive digital nomads, according to Savills Plc, a United Kingdom real estate agency.
Savills’ Head Office London Director, Paul Tostevin, shared in his blog on April 27, on the company’s website, that as part of its Impacts 2022 programme, an Executive Nomad Rating survey was conducted.
Of the 15 destinations ranked, Barbados placed number one in the Caribbean, and fifth overall, and was noted as having the fastest internet in the Caribbean, an appealing climate, and good air connectivity. The top destination was Lisbon, followed by Miami, United States of America (USA); Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Algarve, Portugal.
The index was based on countries that have a digital nomad visa programme or equivalent, or in the case of the USA and European countries, are already part of a large economic bloc that allows free movement within it. Other criteria assessed included a year-round favourable climate, high quality of life, and a developed luxury housing market.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, back in July 2020, announced the Welcome Stamp Programme, which seeks to assist in diversifying the island’s tourism product and attract a new type of visitor. The programme also seeks to fill the gap left by decreased tourist arrivals and to generate foreign exchange, and in July 2021, the Remote Employment Amendment Bill was passed.
It allowed for the extension of the existing legislation governing the Welcome Stamp Programme. The Remote Employment Act 2020-2023 allows for persons under the programme to renew their application and pay the relevant fees to live another year in Barbados.
As of March 2022, Barbados received 3,511 applications and approved 2,308 for the programme. From the 3,511 applications received, 2156 were for the period July to December 2020; 1,011 applications for the year 2021, and 254 up until the end of March this year.
According to the data provided, the top five leading countries seeking entry under the programme are the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, and Ireland.
Of the applications received, 64 per cent were from individuals and 36 per cent from families. A further breakdown of the statistics revealed that 62 per cent of the applicants are male, and 38 per cent are females.
Those approved applicants under the programme have occupations in fields such as: Engineering; Health Science; Architecture, Information Technology; Communications; Public Administration; Finance; Education and Training; Law; Distribution and Logistics, and Management.
The recent statistics were compiled by the Research Department, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., with data received from the Barbados Immigration Department.