Strengthening Internet Connectivity For Attracting Digital Nomads to Costa Rica

    A vital issue for the country’s new economic focus

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    Tourist destinations in Costa Rica are located in coastal and mountainous provinces where access is not always stable and fast. Digital nomads leave the country greater profits since they have longer stays, and greater consumption of goods and services that include transportation, food, laundry, education, tours, beauty services, accommodation, among others.

    Despite the fact that digital nomads who decide to telecommute from Costa Rica will enjoy many benefits, thanks to a recently approved law, it is necessary to strengthen the availability of high-speed Internet connections outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).

    This was highlighted by experts who participated in the Think & Tech “Digital nomads: opportunity to enhance horizontal knowledge networks”, held by the Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (Camtic).

    Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism; Pedro Beirute, general manager of the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer); Shirley Calvo, executive director of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur); Ignacio Trejos, co-founder of Cenfotec; Edwin Estrada, former Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Luis Adrián Salazar, former Minister of Science and Technology, were the speakers.

    Although one of the factors why digital nomads are choosing Costa Rica to carry out their jobs is good connectivity, it is important to strengthen it to carry out their work without any problem, recognized Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.

    Sufficient bandwidth

    The remote work carried out by tourists requires that the places where they settle have sufficient bandwidth, Trejos and Estrada highlighted, as well as symmetrical connections, that is, that they offer the same speed for sending information as for downloading it.

    “The places where we have less connectivity are those that coincide with tourist destinations. There we must think about infrastructure investment to be able to bring stable and high-speed connectivity”, said Shirley Calvo, executive director of Canatur. Estrada indicated that one of the first things that tourists ask when arriving at a hotel is if they have Internet, which shows the current importance of connectivity.

    The law to attract workers and remote service providers of an international nature, better known as “Digital Nomads”, was approved in a second debate the past July 13th by the legislative plenary.

    The initiative establishes benefits for these workers in order to promote the attraction of foreigners to work remotely from Costa Rica, by granting them special immigration status, as well as exemption from paying income tax.

    The New Medellín?

    According to data from the StorageCafé Survey of the 10 most popular destinations for digital nomads, only 1 is found in the American continent: Medellín, Colombia. The rest are in Europe and Asia and Africa.

    Continent / Destination:

    America / Medellin, Colombia

    Europe / Budapest, Hungary; Lisbon Portugal; Tbilisi, Georgia

    Africa / Cape Town, South Africa

    Asia / Chiang Mai, Thailand; Canggu and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia; Taipei, Taiwan; Da Nang, Vietnam

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