Elements of a new model for small island tourism promotion

This article from the Washington Post <https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/these-countries-are-accepting-american-travelers-remote-work-trips/?utm_campaign=wp_by_the_way&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_bytheway > may offer ideas for small islands with low Covid-19 infection rates.

These 4 countries are accepting American travelers for remote-work trips
Digital nomads don’t have many options during the pandemic, but a few nations are welcoming working travelers.

By Natalie B. Compton
July 27

The pandemic has proved challenging for digital nomads, people who travel the world working remotely. With countries closing their borders and air travel heavily restricted, working abroad has become extremely difficult if not totally impossible for Americans.

And as some destinations begin to allow foreign visitors, travelers from the United States may still be banned because of the America’s escalating number of coronavirus cases.

But there are exceptions. While the State Department and health officials still recommend Americans avoid all international travel, some countries are welcoming working travelers, including Americans, back again despite the pandemic’s continuing spread.

[With the pandemic shutting borders, digital nomads find it harder to roam]
Estonia

Launching on Aug. 1 after years of development, the Republic of Estonia’s digital nomad visa will allow foreigners to stay in Estonia for up to a year.

Applicants must have a gross monthly salary of 3,000 euros (about $3,530) or more from a remote work job to be considered for the visa, which is an extension of Estonia’s e-Residency program for foreign entrepreneurs.

“We saw that there was kind of a lack of opportunities for [digital nomads], so we wanted Estonia to solve the problem,” Ott Vatter, the managing director of e-Residency, told The Washington Post. “Estonia aims to be the hub for these kinds of new entrepreneurs that we see trending globally.”

Since the Estonian Parliament authorized the program in June, international applicants mostly from the United States, Canada, Russia and Asia completed the online request for either a Type C short stay visa, or a Type D long stay visa.

At this time, Estonia is not allowing Americans to visit the country for tourism, but they are allowed in for the purpose of work or study. On arrival, foreigners must quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days.

[Thinking about a remote-work trip? Consider these tips first.]

Barbados

Shortly after reopening its borders to international travel, Barbados launched a program that allows visitors, including Americans, to stay on the Caribbean island visa-free for up to one year.

Called the “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” the program was created to bring remote workers to the country.

“The aim is to attract remote workers, with a bill to be introduced in Parliament by the government that will remove the local income taxes that normally kick in after six months,” The Post reported.

The online application fee is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families. Applicants must certify they earn an annual income of $50,000 or have the means to support themselves during their time in Barbados.

Those traveling to Barbados for remote work or pleasure during the pandemic must follow new travel protocols.

[Where can Americans travel to in the Caribbean?]

Georgia

On July 16, the country of Georgia announced a new program for foreigners to work remotely from the country.

“Georgia has the image of an epidemiologically safe country in the world and we want to use this opportunity,” the country’s minister of economy, Natia Turnava, said in a statement. “We are talking about opening the border in a way to protect the health of our citizens, but, on the other hand, to bring to Georgia citizens of all countries who can work remotely.”

Applicants must provide proof of employment and give their consent to quarantine in self-isolation for 14 days to be considered for the program. Applications should be available soon.

American travelers are not allowed into Georgia at this time unless they’re granted a long-term visa of at least six months, traveling for business with a special permit or are the spouse of a Georgian citizen.

Jamaica

Travelers from the United States are allowed to visit Jamaica. However, the entry requirements vary depending on their home state.

All Americans must have an approved Travel Authorization ahead of their trip, or they won’t be allowed to travel to Jamaica.

At this time, visitors from Florida, Arizona, Texas and New York are classified as high-risk states by the Jamaican government and are required to provide a proof of negative covid-19 PCR tests from an accredited lab to receive a travel authorization.

People who identify as business travelers in their Travel Authorization application will be given a test for the novel coronavirus on arrival to Jamaica.

“We have worked with IATA to ensure that it is a part of the airline check-in protocols that if you’re coming to Jamaica you have to produce this authorization,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism.

White says that while most travelers are given a 30-day visa on arrival, they can apply for a longer stay visa to enjoy more of what Jamaica has to offer digital nomads.

“There’s so much history and folklore around Jamaica. Anyone who is a nomad traveler … will be able to write a storybook about spending an extended time in Jamaica,” White said.

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see Kincey.org). President of Island Resources Foundation.
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