Live & Work Anywhere: Attracting Remote Workers

Features like workspace availability are critical so remote workers can continue to work whilst travelling.

Flexibility has been the one shift that Airbnb has witnessed as a major change in how people travel and what the future of travel looks like.

Flexibility has been the one shift that Airbnb has witnessed as a major change in how people travel and what the future of travel looks like.


At the beginning of the year, Airbnb launched 11 'Work Anywhere' campaigns, based on affordability, what they have to offer, facilities for remote workers, digital connections and co-working spaces etc. Cape Town was just an obvious choice. We partnered with Cape Town Tourism to create a hub as a one-stop-shop, where everything comes together.

In terms of the market, 28 days+ is the fastest growing category, in 2021 more than 50% of stays are 7 days plus. 1/5th of travellers said they would do some form of remote work whilst they're travelling.

These travellers are generally higher network, self-sustaining, spending money at restaurants and coffee shops. When they fall in love with a place they might invest, return and take advantage of things like working visas.

In order to support remote workers, Cape Town is working on mental. Mental health is something we should recognise as a factor. From a lifestyle and a health and wellness perspective, they've upped the packages which are now much more attractive.  

Velma addressed the fact that some of the hosts have been inundated with enquiries and how the entire local value chain feels the benefit of tourism. When Covid happened they also felt when it was gone. The value of tourism is something that is considered a strength.

How can destinations encourage remote workers to stay and become residents?


Remote worker visas are so important because they offer flexibility and the benefit of people coming to a destination, spending time there and sharing their knowledge and talent. So perhaps the goal isn't to win them as residents generally, as most people are probably happy back where they're domiciled and they don't generally want to change forever, but just have a better work-life balance. Four African cities have already created a remote working visa, so this is growing.

It is worth mentioning that 75% of tourism spend and GDP comes from just 25% of the travellers making up the international volume.


Is the short-term accommodation sector changing strategy, from short-stays to long-stays?

They've made more than 150 different upgrades to the platform - to make it easy for guests to find what they're looking for. They did things like changing the search, making it easy to search based on flexibility.

Then they relaunched categories to search by type, recognising that travellers are generally agnostic about the neighbourhood they live in but care more about a home with a view or a rural stay. These types of experiences are bigger drivers than the specifics that we traditionally thought about.


Features like workspace availability and wifi speed tests are critical so remote workers can continue to work whilst travelling. Price flexibility for long-term stays is also key.

Key Takeaways

  • Flexibility has been the one shift that Airbnb has witnessed as a major change in how people travel and what the future of travel looks like.

  • Features like workspace availability and price flexibility for long-term stays are critical so remote workers can continue to work whilst travelling.

  • Remote worker visas are important because they offer flexibility and the benefit of people coming to a destination.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Velma Corcoran

Airbnb

Leigh Dawber

Cape Town Tourism