Barbados urged to attract expats willing to contribute
Barbados Advocate – Peter Thompson, CEO of Remote Work Barbados, believes the impact of spending by digital expats is significant, and it is important to continue inviting people who understand the 21st century economy and are willing to contribute to the island as they enjoy the benefits of staying here.
Thompson was speaking during a virtual panel discussion based on The Future Tourism Project, established by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to assist governments and key stakeholders, including MSMEs, to help them build back better in the context of the COVID-19 landscape.
The diverse panel shared professional and personal insights as well as key research findings and emerging trends, specifically to the idea of a new profile for visitors to the Caribbean.
The CEO of Remote Work Barbados said the 12 Month Welcome Stamp Visa, which has now had 2,500 successful applicants, should be just the first version and there should be additional upgrades to the current program with more incentives presented as each digital nomad moves on to the next level.
Those initial applicants, over a 10-month period, have contributed approximately $6 million in fees to Barbados, with the expectation of $120 million in accommodation alone over the next year.
“The fact is that we need to develop long-term relationships with people who come to visit us, [not only] to develop the contribution to the community, but also to develop their commitment to helping us in our journey toward becoming the best place on the globe to live. So come for a year and then we reach out and invite you for another year and do some extra perks, so that you have version one, version two, version three, version four and people coming back for work over their entire working lives and for longer than a year if they so choose,” Thompson argued.
The tourism expert stated that the path should be directed towards creating new neighbours and making them feel comfortable being part of the society.