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Workation: an opportunity for tourism?

COVID-19 has overwhelmed us like an avalanche: doubtless tourism PMIs have suffered this impact more than any other companies.

A few months ago, many tourism destinations were seeking solutions to the problem of over-tourism. Now, those same cities that were collapsing under the weight of tourists are desperately looking for ways to survive. Someone says that a temporary solution can be represented by workation.

What is a workation?

A workation is a vacation that combines work and vacation, blending leisure time with productive time.

With more than half the world now working-from-home and/or the rise of digital nomads and freelancers who prefer to work remotely, workations are on the rise.

In Italy alone, according to the 2020 research results of the, during the first lockdown in March, 94% of PAs, 97% of large companies and 58% of SMEs have extended the possibility of working remotely and the number of homeworkers rose to 6.58 million.

The application of Smart Working during the pandemic has shown how a different way of working is possible even for professions previously considered incompatible with working remotely, but has also exposed the lack of technological preparation of many organizations. Despite the difficulties, this atypical Smart Working has helped to improve the digital skills of employees (for 71% of large companies and 53% of PAs), to rethink business processes (59% and 42%) and to break down barriers and prejudices on agile work (65% of large companies), marking an irreversible change in the organization of work.

For the “new normal”, at the end of the emergency, Smart Working initiatives will evolve and the redesign of workspaces will affect 51% of large companies.

Maybe it’s not that good working on vacation, but it’s surely better working if you know that at the end of the day you will be able to relax in a beautiful place.

Following this trend, many hotels and accommodation facilities (and cruises, too) have equipped themselves for this need, offering guests services dedicated to smart working.

Small silent offices, Wi-Fi connection even on the beach and in the open spaces, babysitting services for children: these are just some of the facilities designed for those who want to work on vacation.

Workations seem to solve the problems of work-life harmony and freedom to travel because they encourage the employee to have both. They incite creativity and innovation allowing the employees to choose different scenery that might inspire them. They enhance retention, and can foster team-building when employees come back more rested and enthusiastic for their work.

Some examples are offered by three wonderful Caribbean Islands: Aruba has launched the “One Happy Workation” program which allows foreign visitors to stay and work in this corner of paradise for up to 90 days, taking advantage of particularly discounted rates and Anguilla and Barbados both offer extended visas for individuals and families willing to relocate there for up to a year. Also, Dubai has announced a similar initiative with the launch of an attractive Virtual Remote Work Visa Program that allows smart working travelers to relocate for a year while continuing to work remotely for their companies based overseas, while Estonia and Georgia have implemented new visa schemes that allow foreigners to stay and work remotely for longer periods of time.

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