Table of Contents Hide
- What Exactly Is a Workation?
- Why Workations Are Becoming So Popular
- The Rise of Remote Work and Location Independence
- Ideal Destinations for Workations
- How to Position Your Travel Brand as a Workation Destination
- Providing Workation Essentials: Wi-Fi, Coworking Spaces and More
- Marketing Your Travel Destination to Remote Workers and Workationers
- Creating Workation Packages and Bundles
As a travel industry professional, staying on the cutting edge of trends is critical to success.
An emerging trend that savvy travel brands are tapping into is the “workation” – combining work and vacation.
Remote working has become widely adopted, allowing more professionals the flexibility to work from anywhere. Many are choosing to do so while traveling to new and interesting places.
According to recent surveys, over 70% of remote workers report greater job satisfaction and over 80% say they are more productive when working in an inspiring environment.
Tapping into the workation trend allows travel brands to attract these digital nomads and open new revenue streams during off-peak seasons.
However, effectively optimizing your brand to capture this opportunity requires an understanding of who these remote workers are and what they want in a workation destination.
In this article, I will explore the workation trend in depth, share insights into the target audience, and provide actionable tips for travel brands looking to make the most of this lucrative new segment.
The ability to work remotely is revolutionizing travel, and destinations that cater to workations will be poised to reap the benefits.
What Exactly Is a Workation?
As the founder of Travel Marketing Guy, I have been closely following emerging trends in the travel industry. One trend that has steadily gained momentum over the past few years is the “workation.”
A workation refers to traveling to a destination for the purpose of working remotely while also enjoying some leisure time. Instead of taking time off to travel, professionals combine work and vacation. They are able to work remotely using tools like video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, and project management software.
Why Are Workations Growing in Popularity?
There are a few reasons why workations are an increasing trend:
- Improved remote working technology. Advancements in cloud computing, video calling, and other digital tools enable many professionals to work from anywhere.
- Desire for work-life balance. Professionals want flexibility and the ability to blend work and leisure. A workation allows them to travel without sacrificing work or using up limited paid time off.
- Appeal to Millennials and digital nomads. Younger generations and location-independent workers value experiences, autonomy, and adventure. A workation checks all of these boxes.
- Cost savings. Some destinations have a lower cost of living, so professionals can save money on living expenses while enjoying a change of scenery. They avoid paying for a vacation and can write off some travel costs as a business expense.
- Increased employer acceptance. More companies recognize the benefits of remote work and work-life balance. They are willing to allow employees to workation, especially if they remain productive.
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Professionals don’t want to miss out on travel experiences, even when they can’t take extended time off work. A workation allows them to travel and share those experiences on social media without missing work.
Workations represent an opportunity for travel marketers and brands to tap into an emerging trend and reach a growing segment of travelers. With the right digital marketing strategy, you can attract workationers and benefit from this lucrative new market.
Why Workations Are Becoming So Popular
As a travel marketer, it’s important to stay on top of emerging trends in the industry. One trend that has steadily been gaining popularity is the “workation” – combining work and vacation. Remote workers and digital nomads are flocking to destinations around the world, setting up their “office” on the beach or in the mountains.
Why Are Workations Becoming Popular?
There are a few reasons why workations are an increasingly common choice for remote workers and business owners:
- Improved technology like cloud-based systems, video conferencing, and collaboration tools allow people to work from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility and freedom of location is appealing.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work. Many companies have embraced work-from-home policies and digital collaboration. Employees have grown accustomed to remote work and enjoy the benefits.
- People crave experiences over material goods. Workations allow remote workers and business owners to immerse themselves in new cultures and destinations while still earning an income. It’s the ultimate lifestyle for many.
- Cost savings. By living and working in places with a lower cost of living, people can make their money go further. Many destinations around the world have a significantly lower cost of living than more developed nations.
- Wellness benefits. Spending extended time in a new natural environment, getting exposure to sunlight during work hours, eating fresh local foods, and avoiding the stress of commuting can have physical and mental health benefits.
- Networking opportunities. Co-working spaces and digital nomad hubs around the world allow location-independent workers to connect with like-minded people. New business collaborations and partnerships often form in these environments.
The workation trend shows no signs of slowing down. As a travel marketer, you need to make sure your brand and offerings are optimized to capture this growing market segment. Promote destinations, accommodations, and experiences in your portfolio that would appeal to digital nomads and remote workers. The opportunities in this space are abundant.
The Rise of Remote Work and Location Independence
The rise of remote work and location independence has fueled the workation trend. As a travel marketer, tapping into this trend can open up new opportunities.
According to recent surveys, an estimated 4.3 million Americans are working remotely. This number has climbed 159% since 2005. Companies are also increasingly open to remote work, with 43% of employers offering remote or flexible work options. Employees value the flexibility and work-life balance that comes with remote work.
For many digital nomads and remote workers, the ability to work from anywhere has inspired the “workation” – working while on vacation or traveling to new places. I have observed this trend firsthand, as remote workers visit a destination and set up their “office” at a cozy cafe, shared workspace or vacation rental. Some will stay for a few weeks or months at a time, soaking in their surroundings when off the clock.
The Benefits of Workations
Workations provide numerous benefits for both companies and employees. For companies, workations can improve employee satisfaction, retention and productivity. Employees report lower stress levels, greater creativity and better work-life balance. Destinations also benefit economically from long-term remote worker visitors.
For travel marketers and brands, workations present an opportunity to tap into this growing segment of travelers seeking meaningful experiences. Some tips for optimizing your brand for workations include:
- Focus on destinations with strong WiFi, coworking spaces and cafes suitable for remote work. Beach towns, mountain villages and other natural settings are appealing for workations.
- Offer long-term stay discounts and packages targeted at remote workers and digital nomads. Include useful amenities for work like WiFi, desks, and office chairs.
- Build a community by organizing networking events, meetups or online groups where remote workers can connect. This can help establish your destination as a hub for workations.
- Promote a relaxing vibe and lots of options for exploring the surrounding area. Workations are about blending work, leisure and new experiences.
- Share stories and highlight the experiences of remote workers and digital nomads who have taken a workation at your destination. This social proof can inspire others.
The rise of remote work has fueled an opportunity for destinations and travel brands to tap into the workation trend.
By catering to the needs of this growing group of travelers, you can establish your destination as a thriving hub for meaningful work and life experiences. The potential for long stays and repeat visitors is huge. Is your brand ready to make the most of the workation movement?
Ideal Destinations for Workations
As a travel marketer, suggesting ideal destinations for workations can open up new opportunities. Based on industry trends, here are some of the top places for remote workers and digital nomads:
Metropolises like Bangkok, Thailand and Medellin, Colombia have become digital nomad hubs, offering coworking spaces, good Wi-Fi, and affordable costs of living. These cities provide a chance for workationers to experience an exciting urban environment while still being productive.
Destinations along coastlines, such as Bali, Indonesia and Taghazout, Morocco are appealing for those seeking a beachy workation. Remote workers can soak in the relaxing surroundings when off the clock, while still accessing strong internet connections and workspaces during working hours. Beach towns that are popular with tourists in the high season but quieter in the shoulder months may be particularly ideal.
For workationers who prefer a natural setting, mountain towns like Banos, Ecuador or Pokhara, Nepal can be an excellent option. Surrounded by stunning scenery, these mountain hideaways tend to have lower costs of living and fewer distractions. They offer opportunities for outdoor recreation when work is done, with activities like hiking, climbing and paragliding.
Dedicated coworking retreats and coliving spaces are an emerging trend, offering purpose-built workations. These retreats, such as Outsite in the US, provide private workspaces, community events, recreational activities, and accommodation tailored specifically to remote workers and entrepreneurs. For travel marketers, connecting workation seekers to these specialized retreats and coliving spaces represents an opportunity.
Travel marketers should consider promoting these options, as “work from anywhere” continues to grow as a long-term trend. Tapping into the workation movement allows you to open your business up to new audiences of location-independent clients.
How to Position Your Travel Brand as a Workation Destination
As a travel business owner, positioning your brand to tap into emerging travel trends like workations can open up new revenue streams and help future-proof your company. According to recent surveys, over 70% of digital nomads and remote workers plan to continue traveling and working remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus on Long-Term Stays
To attract workation customers, offer discounted long-term stay packages of at least 1-3 months. Remote workers value affordability, flexibility, and amenities that support productivity like high-speed WiFi, coworking spaces, and business centers. You might provide workspace or office rental options in addition to traditional lodging.
Highlight Productivity Perks
Promote any features that would appeal to someone traveling for business rather than leisure. This could include 24-hour check-in, mail and package receiving services, printing and scanning capabilities, virtual office options, and more. Emphasize how your destination provides an ideal live-work balance with natural surroundings to boost creativity.
Build a Remote Work Community
Workations are often sought out for the ability to connect with like-minded digital nomads. Consider hosting networking events, meetups, or retreats where remote workers can interact, collaborate, and support each other. You might partner with local coworking spaces, business accelerators or startups to cross-promote. An engaged community will help establish your location as a premier workation hub.
Optimize Your Online Presence
To rank well on search engines and directories for terms like “best workation destinations,” “remote work retreats,” and “digital nomad travel,” focus your content and SEO optimization efforts around those keywords and topics. Share resources for planning a successful workation at your destination. Highlight any press coverage or awards related to remote work or digital nomadism that you have received. Build links by contributing guest posts to leading remote work and travel blogs.
Positioning your travel brand as an in-demand workation destination takes effort but can be very rewarding. By catering to the needs of remote workers and helping to facilitate connections within that community, you set your location apart as a place for meaningful live-work experiences. Workations represent an opportunity to boost revenue during off-seasons and attract customers who may return again for future long-term stays. With the remote workforce continuing to grow at a rapid pace, workations are poised to become a major travel trend for years to come.
Providing Workation Essentials: Wi-Fi, Coworking Spaces and More
To tap into the workation trend, it’s essential to provide the necessary amenities and infrastructure for remote workers. As a travel business owner, you need to ensure you offer suitable workspaces, fast and reliable Wi-Fi, and other facilities that cater to digital nomads.
Reliable, high-speed internet access is non-negotiable for most remote employees and digital nomads. I offer business-grade Wi-Fi with fast download and upload speeds throughout my vacation rental properties and any coworking spaces. I find it helpful to advertise the specifics of internet capabilities upfront to set the right expectations. Things like the internet provider, upload and download speeds, bandwidth, and whether the connection is wired or wireless are useful details to include.
In addition to Wi-Fi, workations require suitable workspaces for remote work. I incorporate dedicated office spaces, standing desks, comfortable seating, proper lighting, and charging stations in my vacation rentals. For an added amenity, I provide basic office supplies like pens, paper, staplers, tape, and paper clips. Some digital nomads may also appreciate access to monitors, keyboards, mice, and other technology.
For remote workers looking to get out of their temporary home office, coworking spaces are an attractive option. I partner with local coworking spaces and business centers to offer workation guests discounted or complimentary access. Coworking spaces provide an inspiring environment for remote work with amenities like private offices, conference rooms, snack bars, and networking events with other digital nomads and remote professionals.
Other useful facilities for workations include gyms, pools, recreational facilities, laundry rooms, and mail handling services. As a travel business owner, I aim to provide as many convenient facilities and services as possible to optimize my properties for work and leisure. The more comprehensive the amenities, the more attractive the destination will be for remote workers and digital nomads looking for an inspiring place to work and play.
Marketing Your Travel Destination to Remote Workers and Workationers
To market a travel destination to remote workers and workationers, I would focus on several key factors that appeal to this demographic.
Remote workers value destinations that make it easy to work efficiently. I would highlight amenities like high-speed, reliable Wi-Fi; dedicated co-working spaces; and business centers. Mentioning average internet speeds and available workspaces in listings and promotional materials can help position the destination as an ideal place for remote work.
For many remote workers and workationers, affordability is a top priority. I would emphasize budget-friendly accommodation and living costs. Highlighting deals, discounts, and package rates specifically for remote workers and digital nomads may entice them to choose your destination over pricier locations. Lower costs of living also mean remote workers can stay longer, which benefits the local economy.
Focus on Lifestyle
While remote workers value productivity, they also want an appealing lifestyle. I would market the destination’s lifestyle perks, like access to outdoor activities, cultural attractions, nightlife, and culinary options. Photographs and videos showcasing people enjoying an vibrant work-life balance in your location can capture the imagination of workationers seeking an inspiring place to live and work.
Build a Remote Work Community
Remote workers often value connection and community. I would aim to actively build a community for workationers and digital nomads. Launching social meetups, networking events, coworking spaces, and online groups can help remote workers connect. Featuring stories and testimonials from remote workers already living in the destination will allow others to visualize building a life there. With an established community, remote workers will feel supported living in and promoting your location.
By focusing on these key factors, travel marketers and destinations can effectively position themselves as ideal places for remote workers and workationers to live, work and thrive. Building a reputation as an affordable, lifestyle-rich place for digital nomads to get work done can yield benefits for both the remote workers who call it home and the local travel industry that serves them.
Creating Workation Packages and Bundles
As a travel brand, tapping into emerging trends like workations can open up new revenue streams and attract remote workers as customers. To optimize for this growing niche, I would recommend creating dedicated workation packages and bundles.
Build Flexible Itineraries
Remote workers value flexibility and options. Workation packages should provide a mix of scheduled activities as well as free time. For example, a one-week workation could include a few group excursions for networking and socializing, combined with open days for working and leisure. Bundles that offer a set number of activities that can be used anytime during the trip allow customers to craft an itinerary suited to their needs.
Provide Strong Wi-Fi and Workspaces
Fast, reliable internet connectivity is non-negotiable for most remote employees. Workation packages should highlight access to strong Wi-Fi and designated workspaces like coworking areas, business centers or work-friendly cafes. Some may want to consider offering upgrades like phone booths for private calls or desks with multiple monitors. These types of amenities will appeal directly to remote workers looking for an optimal work environment away from home.
Promote Learning and Growth Opportunities
Workations present an opportunity for remote workers to learn new skills and expand their professional networks. Consider incorporating educational elements like guest speakers, workshops or networking events. For example, a workation at a mountain lodge could feature talks on productivity, time management or digital marketing. Teaming up with local co-working spaces or entrepreneurial organizations to host meetups or socials is an easy way to facilitate networking and new connections.
Offer Discounts and Loyalty Programs
Providing discounts and loyalty incentives for repeat workation customers is key to building a base of remote workers. Offer first-time booking discounts or bundle multiple trips at a lower overall price. A loyalty program that awards points or credits for referrals, social shares or repeat bookings that can be redeemed on future workations may entice remote workers to choose your destination and accommodations again.
Optimizing for the growing workation trend by crafting dedicated packages, amenities and loyalty programs is a smart strategy for travel brands looking to diversify their offerings and reach new audiences. By catering specifically to remote workers, brands can establish themselves as a go-to workation destination.
Workations present an opportunity for travel brands and destinations to tap into an emerging trend and reach new audiences. By optimizing your offerings and marketing for digital nomads and remote workers, you can position yourself at the forefront of this movement. While workations require investments in infrastructure and marketing, the potential rewards of this untapped market are huge. The statistics show workations are here to stay, and travel brands that get on board now will be poised to reap the benefits of this lucrative new category of travel. The future of travel is remote and workations are leading the way.