According to a report by Lusa, most of these people work in the area of information technology, are between 30 and 40 years old and settle in the Algarve during the low season, when accommodation is cheaper, to spend some time and then head to another destination, returning the following winter.
Dennis Franz, a 35-year-old German who manages his own online marketing company, told Lusa that it was in Portugal that he started his journey as a digital nomad, in 2014, to, two years later, start spending seasons on a regular basis in Lagos, which he considers “the place” to be.
“I don't have an apartment, I don't have what you would call a house, I usually stay in hotels or Airbnb [local accommodation]. I've been doing this since 2015 and I usually try to visit 12 to 15 countries a year", he said, saying that he considers Portugal his home and the "best country in the world", where people are friendly and fun: "And they help you if you need it.”
Dennis says that he stays in Lagos for a maximum of five months, although in the last two years only two to three months, and usually in the winter, because in the summer “there are a lot of people and it's very expensive”. The cost of living is “almost the same as in other countries, especially rents, which are very high”, although restaurants are “affordable”.
For digital nomads who work according to European time zones, “there is a financial advantage in being in Portugal”, although the cost of living is “increasing”, which makes many of these workers opt for cheaper destinations, especially on the Asian continent.
Low season tourists
Joana Glória, who created the Lagos Digital Nomads project in 2020, says that the community, currently with 6,500 members, is active between mid-September and mid-May, with Germany and the Netherlands being the main countries of origin for digital nomads who look for Lagos.
“When the tourist season starts, accommodation prices are very high, they can’t afford it and they go to other cheaper destinations, and then return”, she reports, stressing that the digital nomad is the “new tourist” and that there are also more and more Portuguese opting for this lifestyle.
This is the case of Marco Teixeira, 30 years old, born in Cascais (Lisbon district), who had the opportunity to move to the Algarve two years ago at the company he worked for, with offices in Faro. He chose the city of Lagos a year ago to live, where he has a calmer life, without the hustle and bustle of Greater Lisbon or the stress of public transport and traffic.
The SEO manager says that the lifestyle he now leads has even translated into an increase in productivity, as he has “more space to think”, and, despite working the so-called usual hours , from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, you are not obliged to follow them, from the moment you present results.
In the room converted into an office at the WOT Lagos Montemar Hotel, one of the places where the Lagos Digital Nomads community usually organises events and 'coworking' sessions, you can hear several languages, but mainly English, between video calls for work meetings or phone calls.
Seeing that this was a segment that was expanding, this The hotel chain started to focus on digital nomads when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, which forced the entire tourism sector to reinvent itself, says Angélica Carneiro, sales director of the WOT Hotels chain.
“We started to realise that it was a growing segment and that it would help us to combat seasonality, which is very much felt in the Algarve, and this is a target audience that comes more in the low season”.
Prices to use the workspace vary between 15 euros for a day and 160 euros for a month, with the possibility of using the coworking room for three days (40 euros), five days (60 euros), seven days (80 euros) or two weeks (120 euros).
Digital nomads – the new Algarve tourists
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