This quarter, co-working shacks called ‘sea hubs’ will be set up along the beach, the state’s minister of tourism and IT, Rohan Khaunte, told ET. “They can go and surf in the water, they can go to the shack and have some good Goan food, and then go and work at a workstation,” he said. High-speed internet connectivity in rural areas is crucial for both ‘digital nomads’ and the success of Goa’s homestay policy, which the state government plans to roll out next month to take tourism to the hinterland.
Digital nomads are people who are not tied to a particular business location and choose to travel and work remotely using information and communications technology. Khaunte said the government is aiming for 100% internet connectivity in the state in two years. “We are talking with the Centre to look at BharatNet 3.0 to expedite (this),” he said.
The state government is also in talks with online travel platform MakeMyTrip to make the homestay circuit digitally accessible, he said. It had earlier signed an agreement with AirBnB.
Goa has also been at the forefront of the demand for a ‘digital nomad’ visa category. The state government is set to make presentations to the home ministry and external affairs ministry to take this forward. “We are confident that we will get speedy clearances that we need in terms of moving this vision plan ahead,” Khaunte said.
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A ‘digital nomad’ visa allows a visitor to stay in a country, typically for a year, and work remotely for a foreign-based employer or business. As many as 46 countries, including Germany, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Iceland, Thailand and Malaysia, offer digital nomad visas. Goa wants this demographic to come and work from its beaches as well as from homestays in the hinterland.
“Their basic salaries will be like ₹90 lakh a year, ₹1 crore a year. So, 30-35% of that being pumped back into the economy, to the place where they stay, allows the local economies to move,” Khaunte explained.
A new policy is also being worked out to provide tax incentives for electronics manufacturing, which should be ready in a month, according to an official.
Also, land allotment under the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster Scheme of the Centre is underway in Tuem. “About 20-25% of the land allotment has already been done to different industries,” Khaunte said.
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