How much will the new digital nomadic workforce benefit from travel?


Skift take

Remote work is here to stay. And that’s a good thing for the travel industry as it will create a large market of long-term travelers who live and work anywhere. These digital nomads have the potential to be a small and powerful type of traveler worth understanding.

Seth Borko, Skift

In our latest report, Skift Research analyzes the potential digital nomad market and their impact on the travel industry.

The pandemic has rocked the world into a new acceptance of hybrid and fully remote jobs. The excerpt below focuses on why we believe this new professional flexibility is and will continue to generate renewed interest in digital nomadism.

The full report goes even further to estimate the potential purchasing power of digital nomads in the United States

Preview and buy the full report

Remote work means more trips

Already, our travel tracker shows that working remotely creates a higher propensity for Americans to travel. In April 2021, 14% of Americans told us they took more short-term trips and 16% took an extended trip because of their remote work status. An additional 24% planned to take an extended induced trip remotely. In other words, more than half of Americans had taken or were planning to travel because of their remoteness.

Keep in mind that the average American only uses half of their donated vacation days in a year, and as a result the country left a total of 768 million unused vacation days on the table in 2017. Cost was the main reason for not using allotted vacation time. . Secondarily, there were difficulties walking away from work with 30% of Americans listing it as their primary or secondary reason for not traveling. Digital nomadism solves both problems and will make it much easier for Americans to travel.

Digital nomadism indirectly addresses the obstacle of the cost of travel. This does not make the trip itself cheaper but creates savings elsewhere. For the average American, housing is their biggest expense, typically a total of 16% of annual spending budgets. This is closely followed by transportation at 14 percent of annual expenses.

Digital nomads have the opportunity to convert their housing costs into travel expenses and, as remote workers, they realize immediate transport savings. Indeed, going from a permanent office worker to a digital nomad frees up a third of most Americans’ budgets to spend on travel.

What if you found time to get away from work? At first glance, becoming a digital nomad doesn’t necessarily solve this. After all, teleworkers still work full time. But being located in the country, digital nomads will find it much easier to organize extended trips from their new home port. In addition, they can experience the local culture outside of working hours, although traditional tours and activities may not be possible. Traveling and working as a digital nomad plays on the desire to ‘live like a local’, which is increasingly important to modern travelers, especially among the younger generations.

With the combination of flexible jobs, cost savings and local experiences, interest in becoming a digital nomad has exploded. Since the start of the pandemic in April 2020, Google searches related to digital nomads have increased by 50% and increased by more than 1,000% over the past decade.

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This is the latest in a series of research reports, analyst sessions and fact sheets aimed at analyzing the loopholes in travel disruption. These reports are intended for busy decision makers in the travel industry. Tap into the opinions and ideas of our seasoned network of employees and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection and / or analysis are devoted to each report.

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