Cape Town launches partnership with Airbnb to attract digital nomads

Posted on 30 September 2022 By David Henning

The City of Cape Town has partnered with Airbnb as part of its ‘live and work anywhere’ initiative to promote Cape Town as a remote working destination.

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Picture: Getaway Gallery

Even though Covid was ‘a kick in the teeth’ as Cape Town Alderman, James Vos said, it did show us that we don’t necessarily have to be at the office to do our work.

Airbnb regional manager for Africa and the Middle East, Velma Corcoran,  stated that this realisation covid was the biggest shake-up for tourism since the advent of air travel, where travellers would often choose to stay a week or two longer and work remotely.

‘Innovation is necessary to continuously attract travellers,’ said Cape Town mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis. ‘More and more countries are launching remote work visas and South Africa literally cannot afford to be left behind.’

A 2021 global survey found that 74% of global professionals believe remote working will become a new norm, and 97% of employees wanted flexibility from where they do their jobs.

From Left: Alderman James Vos, Enver Duminy – CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Velma Corcoran and Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. Picture: Supplied

‘‘Pushing for this visa – which President Ramaphosa said early this year was being looked at – remains one of my top priorities’ vos said, who has submitted a draft to the department of home affairs.

‘More than a year ago, I submitted a proposal to National Government for an amendment to Section 11 of the Immigration Act which relates to an extension of visas beyond 90 days for specific activities. This is because remote workers tend to stay beyond three months in a location while spending up to R50 000.’

Although policy still has some catching up to do, the City of Cape Town is ready to welcome remote workers, even if they can’t stay longer than 90 days. As Corcoran said at the launch, ‘who would want to stay at a tiny central London apartment in winter when you could stay here for half the price?’ which pretty much summed it all up.

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