Skift Take

From hotel recommendations to pilot projects, Albert Canigueral is thrashing out a range of ideas across the U.S. and Europe. Here’s what he’s thinking.

Series: Future of Work

Future of Work

As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.

Learn More

More governments are warming to the idea of digital nomads, shifting their outlook from short-term tourism win to economic development. Consultant Albert Canigueral recently returned from Croatia, where he took part in the country’s first digital nomads-in-residence program. The city of Dubrovnik enticed 10 nomads over for a month’s free stay, but on the condition they spent every Friday helping it frame something more structured, beyond simply issuing special visas. One of the suggestions they came back with was that Dubrovnik should create a certification or stamp for long-term accommodation providers, so they can show they are digital nomad, or workcation, friendly. Canigueral joked that while in Dubrovnik, he didn’t have a kettle in his room. Small things like that can make a difference. “We’ve suggested kitchenettes with equipment, plus a desk space and good internet. You could have a label that certifies the space,” he said. External inspectors can be appointed, or a user platform built. The label scheme was mooted at a city level, but there's scope for national and international expansion. However, Jana Kutsinskaja, international media project manager at the Estonian Tourist Board (a similarly nomad-friendly destination) told Skift that when it comes to labels, her focus was more on safety. And she said many hotels with a community focus — which attract digital nomads — tended to naturally cater to all their needs, highlighting Hektor Container Hotel, Hotel Citybox, Oru Hub Hotel and Bob W as examples of a new breed of accommodation, and all located in capital Tallinn. Staying in Europe, Netherlands chain Zoku has just expanded to Austria and Denmark. Will more traditional hotel groups be able to compete for their share