How digital nomads see Greece; Popular Crete but the Internet a sensitive point

On the island of Crete, in the city of Chania, the Swedish Boel Axelsson has just settled. Administrative director of a Swedish company, she plans to work remotely from the Greek island in the coming months taking advantage of the weather and local conditions. food.

She has visited Greece several times in the past, she says, and is eager to extend her summer, but is unsure if she will be able to meet other like-minded people.

“The only real concern I have is how to meet other people in the same situation and also how to feel ‘at home’ quickly because that will be my ffirst time going somewhere as a digital nomadShe told GreekGuru.net.

Axelsson is part of a global community who unplug their computers and move abroad to work remotely.

In an industry estimated at 670 billion euros worldwide, some 70 countries around the world offer some sort of visa targeting digital nomads.

During the summer Greece joined the race, introducing a visa that allows non-European foreign nationals to live and work in the country for up to two years provided they have a foreign employer and earn at least 3,500 euros per month. Higher income is needed if dependent family members are also involved.

Investments that may result from an influx of digital nomads in Greece are large-scale, with a focus on the real estate sector because housing is one of the first needs to be met.

Boel Axelsson from Sweden will be working from Crete for the next two months as she extends her summer.

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, If Greece manages to attract 100,000 digital nomads in a year, and they stay in the country for 6 months, the benefit to the economy could reach 1.6 billion euros per year.

“One obvious area that could lead to increased investment is serviced apartments, a trend that many hotels are considering adding to their offering for a variety of reasons,” Georgios Filiopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece, recount GreekGuru.net in an interview.

On a global list of 1,345 cities compiled by nomadlist.com, Athens comes in 45th, scoring well in safety and weather, but losing points due to its high price and overcrowding.

Greece’s visa rules for digital nomads have met with mixed reactions, with some describing the minimum income of 3,500 euros as too high.

Others don’t see this as an obstacle, but most agree that more work needs to be done to improve the internet in Greece, one of the slowest and most expensive in Europe.

Internet connection improvements are crucial in making the country more attractive to those who work online, says Memon Hazique, who own Greek getaway, a coliving and coworking space in Crete.

Memon, who also operates a similar business in Switzerland, said some of the first guests he welcomed were animation studios, e-commerce and event managers, as well as marketer developers, data analysts, authors and doctoral students. On average, clients stay at its facilities for about a month, “because that seems like a minimum amount of time needed to get acquainted with the community and the culture,” Memon told GreekGuru.net.

Improved infrastructure is also needed to help make cities more livable, especially outside the country’s two largest urban centers, Athens and Thessaloniki.

In Crete, which is turning into a kind of hub for Greece’s digital nomads, work is underway on improvement of roads and cycle paths but there is considerable scope for improving public transport.

“Right now, most customers choose to rent a car, but in the long term it’s not a sustainable solution. The islands must also open activities during the winter season, as digital nomads also take advantage of the low seasons, ”adds Memon.

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