Barbados to offer year-long stays for remote workers

Barbados could allow remote workers from around the world to relocate to the Caribbean island for a year, under a new scheme currently being considered.

Bajan prime minister Mia Mottley has proposed the new policy in response to the impact of coronavirus on travel.

Under the scheme, visitors would have the option of a year-long stay on the idyllic island, following the opening of its borders to international visitors on 12 July.

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The ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’ would enable people to immerse themselves in the island’s culture for a longer period of time.

In a statement, Mottley said: “You don’t need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back.

“But in order for those things to truly resonate, what does it mean? It means that what we offer has to be world class and what we continue to offer is world class.”

She added: “The government is committed to working with you on the promotion of new concepts like the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, being able to open our borders to persons travelling and making it as hospitable as ever for all of us, and making it available for Barbadians from every walk of life to believe that for special occasions, or just for so, that they can come out and be a part of this wonderful exercise.”

Tourism comprises 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, with 30 per cent of its workforce employed in the industry.

The proposal follows the decision of many companies around the world to move to virtual operations, due to lockdown restrictions implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

An online focus group conducted by YouGov for The Independent revealed that many workers are keen to have more flexibility when it comes to remote working following the easing of lockdown.

More time for family, exercise and no commute were all cited as factors contributing to a largely positive remote working experience for those polled.

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