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How Your Hotel Can Draw in Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads

Tap into the digital nomad trend by making this growing group feel right at home.

A digital nomad might be a Gen Z-er with a zest for adventure and a travel bucket list. Or, a parent wanting to expose their kids to other cultures. Or, a remote worker looking for a brief change of scenery. Whatever their situation, they share this in common: they’re part of a growing trend.

“The seismic shift to remote work in the U.S. has resulted in a large increase in digital nomads: people who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the internet-connected world,” states a 2021 report on digital nomads from MBO Partners, a company that provides solutions for businesses managing an independent workforce. As of 2021, the report states there are now over 10 million digital nomads – a more than 40 percent increase from the previous year.

These digital nomads come from all generations, though Millennials (44%) make up the largest share, according to the report. They also work in a variety of industries, including:

  • Coaching and consulting
  • Creative services
  • Education and training
  • Information technology
  • Sales and marketing

Now, let’s talk about how to draw them to your hospitality business. Here are 5 ways to cater to these location-independent workers with big dreams of seeing the world well before they retire:

  1. Offer day passes. Some luxe hotels are offering day passes, an amenity that definitely appeals to digital nomads. A digital nomad might just be passing through, but they need reliable Wi-Fi, a nice space for Zoom meetings and maybe even a respite in the sauna or a happy hour cocktail at the bar. As an example, Marriott Bonvoy’s Work Anywhere day pass has a 6 a.m. check-in and a 6 p.m. checkout and includes a guest room with a desk, “enhanced connectivity,”  free bottled water and use of the property’s facilities.
  2. Create inviting shared spaces. Let’s face it: remote work sounds nice, but it can be lonely. Many remote workers, especially those far from home, crave connection and socializing – on their own terms. One way to invite this type of interaction is to offer warm, attractive common areas designed with these travelers in mind. For example, you could offer a shared workspace with desks and comfortable chairs with a coffee bar or a fun outdoor space for socializing with a fire pit and games.
  3. Employ the right  technology. Remote workers are skewing younger since the start of the pandemic, according to the report. They also value their time – they want to take care of business, work and personal tasks efficiently so they have time to explore and enjoy the area. Using an app and chatbot and virtual concierge technology can appeal to these workers by allowing them to communicate with hotel staff and get their needs met quickly, efficiently and at their desired time.
  4. Upgrade your internet. Lightning fast Wi-Fi is an absolute must for digital nomads. They need the peace of mind to know their client or boss isn’t going to be left hanging if their internet connection falters during a Zoom meeting or presentation. Invest in better internet and amenities like an ethernet connection in each guest room. Then make sure you play up these perks (with specific details) in your advertising and marketing.
  5. Hold events that connect your hotel to the community. Many digital nomads crave a chance to learn about, experience and connect with the local culture and community. You can make your hotel a nexus of connection by bringing local flavor to your property. You can hold a tasting of local wines, get a local chef to give a cooking demo (with samples) featuring local ingredients or invite an artisan to talk about (and sell) their craft.

By taking the time to learn about digital nomads and put yourself in their wandering shoes, you can make your hotel a hot spot for this growing trend.