Azores Launches ‘DNA Azores’ Program, Seeking To Attract Digital Nomads

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Key Takeaways

  • Azores launches ‘DNA Azores’ to attract global digital nomads, aiming to develop infrastructure and amenities for remote work.
  • Plans include collaborative workspaces, certifying accommodations, health services, and incentives for longer stays.
  • Ribeira Grande targets digital nomads separately. ‘DNA Azores’ mainly focuses on central islands. Portugal introduces a digital nomad visa requiring a minimum monthly income for non-EU/EEA remote workers.

Introduction of ‘DNA Azores’ Program

Azores, Portugal–Azores, an autonomous region part of the Portuguese governance, has introduced a new program called ‘DNA Azores’, which aims to attract the global community of digital nomads to its shores.

According to a news report, the ‘DNA Azores’ program aims to standardize amenities and infrastructure to suit remote workers. 

The local government hopes their efforts will help the archipelago join the likes of other Portuguese destinations like Lisbon and Madeira, which have attained success in becoming hubs established on the working travellers’ map.

“This project is strongly committed to increasing dissemination of information and the attractiveness of the Azores as a destination for digital nomadism,” said Faria-e-Castro, the Undersecretary of the Presidency of Azores. 

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As a part of the program, the regional government intends to create a network of collaborative workspaces and to put in place a certification system for accommodations with good internet and other necessary amenities.

Additionally, the Undersecretary added that as part of the program, travelers who stay longer than a month would have access to regional health services and other “rewards.”

Regional Strategies and Digital Nomad Visa Insights

Azores being a group of nine islands grouped into three sections quite distant from each other, sub-regions are making individual efforts to promote themselves to the growing community worldwide.

Ribeira Grande, a city on the Eastern island of São Miguel, has its own platform for digital nomads (check it out here). At the same time, the DNA Azores program mainly addresses the central Azores islands region (São Jorge, Faial, Pico, Flores, Graciosa, Santa Maria, and Corvo).

Portugal’s Visa Transition and Travel Information

Portugal recently moved to scrap their Golden Visa program and launched a digital nomad visa in October last year. 

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Also called the “residence visa for the exercise of professional activity provided remotely outside the national territory,” it allows remote workers to reside in the country for one year.

To be eligible, one must have a minimum monthly income of €2,800 ($2725), come from outside the EU or EEA, and be self-employed or employed by a company outside Portugal (read all about Portugal’s new digital nomad visa here).

Those coming from the EU don’t need a visa to travel to the Azores but have to obtain a Residency Certificate if staying for more than three months.

The Azores is a group of volcanic islands located in the Macaronesia region in the mid-Atlantic, about 1300 km from the Portuguese mainland. They receive a temperate, subtropical climate all year round. The warmest time of the year falls in August when temperatures average 22°C, while Azorean winters (January) average about 15°C.

What We Think

Azores’ proactive approach in aligning with the growing trend of digital nomadism reflects a strategic move to diversify their economy.

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The ‘DNA Azores’ program, focusing on infrastructure and incentives, mirrors the success of similar initiatives in Portugal. However, regional disparities in targeting digital nomads and visa requirements might pose challenges for cohesive implementation.

The initiative’s synergy with Portugal’s broader visa policies signals an attempt to capitalize on the global shift towards remote work, potentially elevating the Azores as an attractive destination for digital nomads.

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Aqil K
Aqil K
Aqil writes about travel, tourism, and covers the many aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle.

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