Rohan Khaunte said the digital nomad visa would boost Goa’s homestays that are hoping to get visitors on long stays.
PANAJI: Goa tourism minister Rohan Khaunte has urged the Union government to introduce a special visa for IT, tech and gig workers who wish to work from anywhere, a move he said will be hugely beneficial for Goa.
Khaunte said a digital nomad visa would boost Goa’s homestays that are hoping to get visitors on long stays.
“After Covid, we have realised that there are a lot of tourists coming here because of the quality of life we have and the creative space that they can have for themselves. Digital nomads are that fraternity who want to work digitally away from their office, away from their home and want to be in a creative space. These international travellers come for a long stay — three months, six months, nine months, for which every country has started giving separate visas for them,” Khaunte told reporters after a meeting of the Tourism Board.
Rather than work while on a tourist visa, which is illegal, countries across the world have begun issuing specially crafted ‘digital nomad visas’ to cater to this group of workers.
“When we had taken this up, there were roughly about 13 countries and today there are about 46 countries. If this digital nomad visa comes, then you have international tourists coming here for a long stay. When he comes for a long stay he will stay in a rural area, with a family, eat their food, understand their culture. Digital nomads are high-income group technocrats. So, their spending power is also high so that is a gain,” Khaunte said.
Khaunte said his department will request chief minister Pramod Sawant to pursue the request with the external affairs ministry.
“And if this happens, digital visas will give new openings for homestays, tech tourism and open up the economy and environment especially the economy of the hinterlands,” he said.