Tourism is increasing significantly, but so too is the fragmentation of consumers. This means personalised products and services for tourists are also emerging to meet the needs of all types of customers.
Initially, leading hotel chains created products like “Adults Only”, “Family Packages and “Business Tourism”. However, nowadays, new niches are looking to find their place and position specific products within the travel sector: single parent families, singles, tourists with pets, millennials and DIGITAL NOMADS.
Tourism companies need to adapt to new consumer trends if they want to stay competitive. And, undoubtedly, digital nomads will influence many people to change their lifestyle by creating new services and an alternative community of travellers worldwide and become an atypical group of people who insist on destinations, trips, workspaces and internet connections to be able to work.
But, let’s get something straight first… who and what are digital nomads?
Digital nomads are people who use technology to earn a living working remotely from any part of the world. They travel lightly and have work or professions which don’t tie them to a fixed location. They’re not your typical backpackers. These people are highly qualified professionals who have decided to make the world their office, where all they need is a high-speed internet connection. Not all professionals are suited to this working life, but it’s perfect for journalists, photographers, correspondents, writers, web designers, programmers, bloggers, community managers, software developers, graphic designers and in general, any type of coworking. Digital nomads also use online resources to their favour when buying flights, finding accommodation and developing good interpersonal skills that allow them to carry out their work from wherever they visit.
Digital Nomads are changing the paradigm for travelling and working. When I ask my employees why they studied tourism, one of the common answers is that they wanted to travel. However, the reason for studying tourism to travel and discover the world has evolved thanks to the Internet. There’s an entirely new way of working, which allows you to work, travel and change the working conditions of the previously mentioned jobs, the so-called digital nomads.
Digital Nomads are people who work online 100% of their time, and for this reason, don’t need an office, can control their working day and free time and work from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. They’re freelancers, but as digital nomads, they’re travelling to different countries around the world at the same time as they’re working.
The main reason is to be able to enjoy all these attractive locations around the world while they’re still young and they don’t have to spend year after year working in the same place, always in offices, with a fixed schedule, until they retire and then start to travel.
Some very interesting data on the behaviour of this new tourism market segment were discovered in a comprehensive study on a group of digital nomads carried out by the website welance.de :
- Sixty-four per cent of those interviewed were men, and 36% were women.
Regarding their monthly income:
- Their income varies between 1000 and 5000 dollars a month.
The age range is diverse. It’s not only young people who are thriving as digital nomads:
- 33% are between 31 and 36
- 29% are between 26 and 30
- 18% are in the 37 to 45 year age
And last but not least, the data provided valuable information for tourism:
- 32% travel to more than 10 countries per year
- 44% stay from 1 to 3 months in the same place
This data tells us that this new shift towards teleworking is also becoming a new trend in tourism that is growing, and according to the study will continue to develop in the coming years. Undoubtedly, digital nomads are going to influence many people to change their lifestyle, creating new services and a different travel community all over the world.
Living as a digital nomad is on the rise, especially as nowadays there are more and more freelancers who work in a digital environment. If we further minimise their needs, the only real thing these people need is a computer and an internet connection. This group’s priority is to travel around the globe and spend certain times of the year in a certain destination and then change the place where they live and work for another location which allows them to keep making a living. Mobility is their top priority, and this allows them to maintain a lifestyle with very specific needs. As tourism professionals, we should not, and cannot, lose sight of this trend as everything points to the fact that it will continue to grow.
It’s important to pick up on the impressions of potential consumers so that “the” different agents in the tourism industry can prepare tailor-made products for them. The Nomadlist (https://nomadlist.com/) website has placed Madrid (8th in world ranking) as one of the top 10 cities worldwide for digital nomads. Prestigious media outlets like USA Today, Time and Forbes, have highlighted the importance of this new figure in the travel sector and Nomadlist’s relevance as a reference point for this audience.
Digital nomads are simply the consequence of a sum of determined social, economic and technological factors surrounding us in our everyday lives. It’s important to be open to new consumer trends and know how to interpret the context in which our customers move. It’s possible that things are happening around you that you would never imagine possible, so it’s essential to listen and accept change by aligning our products as much as possible with new demands as they emerge.