GECO EXPO

How Digital Nomads Are Changing the Travel Industry

One of the trends that have characterised these past two years of pandemic is the evolution of what used to be called "digital nomadism" from a niche trend to a virtual necessity. Not because there have been great opportunities for 'nomadism', at a time when travel has historically been restricted, but because so many people have come to realise that work is not just what you do in the office, and that it is also possible to be productive from the comfort of your own home and achieve the same results. And inevitably, people started wondering. If, for istance, you can work really well from your couch or your kitchen, and you don't need to be in the same building with your colleagues, why should you be in the same city? If you can work from anywhere, why should “anywhere” not be a terrace overlooking the sea or a cabin in the mountains? The early digital nomads, meanwhile, watched in amusement.

   

Southworking

One of the first consequences of the sudden switch from office work to home-office settings, in Italy was the so-called 'south-working'. Thousands of young, out-of-work professionals, once forced to work from home, have chosen to return to their families, in a process that has taken them mostly from northern to southern regions. Some have done so to be close to their loved ones at a difficult time, to care for a relative, others simply needed to move to a cheaper place to brace for a possible crisis.

This same phenomenon has occurred in many other countries around the world: people have fled the big cities and moved to the countryside and the suburbs, even though there has been no substantial shift in employment. We enjoy metropolitan life in less and less and, if we can keep the same salary and access the internet, we prefer to do it somewhere else.

Digital nomads and tourism

It is not surprising that as soon as it was possible to travel again, many new converts to digital nomadism translated what they had just learned into their holiday experiences. For this reason, many of them have chosen destinations designed especially for them: mountain chalets that grand absolute peace, as wall as an impeccable internet connection, to enjoy a sustainable holiday, commune with nature, away from the routs of mass tourism, to enjoy the local food, culture, and traditions.

The sustainable version of digital nomadism, however, eschews certain stereotypes of the category. No more flying to distant destinations, no more large hotel facilities that blight the landscape of exotic paradises, but rather local, healthy, sustainable tourism. Smart working becomes smart-trekking, slow tourism is preferred, as a way of experimenting with low-impact lifestyles, rediscovering human connections and relax, while keeping up with work.

Sustainable retreats for eco-conscious professionals

In Italy, mountain lodges designed for eco-conscious professionals are flourishing, especially in the northern regions. They are often exclusive facilities that combine sustainability with hotel-level comfort, but still involve guests in a series of practices designed to guarantee and promote sustainability.

Published on 10-09-2021

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