The government has been exploring ways of cooperating with VISA in the multinational financial services corporation’s teleworking program, concerning employees mainly from Europe coming to Greece, in the context of the Tourism Ministry’s strategy on digital nomads. Talks took place on the sidelines of the signing of a cooperation agreement last week regarding the supply of transaction data to the ministry.
The two sides agreed to seek the most beneficial way for that, as ministry officials noted that the prospect of such big multinational promoting Greece as a remote working destination to its employees is exceptionally important: It is estimated VISA may send up to 3% of its staff to work from Greece (a total of 21,500 people from across the world) every year; that would also be in periods that are not necessarily during peak season, but around the year.
The ministry has made such contacts with other multinationals too. The ministry’s Digital Nomads initiative has already started on a pilot basis in the cities of Ermoupoli, Iraklio and Kalamata.
Marketing Greece has also taken similar initiatives, while in the last five years (2017-21) Athens has recorded the third fastest growth rate in the world among digital nomad destinations, according to data by Nomad List.
Last week the ministry secured the submission of detailed data from VISA on the use of foreign cards in Greece.
VISA will deliver two detailed charts with 12-month data on the expenditure of tourists in Greece, one comparing 2019 with 2018 and one comparing 2021 with 2020. The company will also promote Greece as a destination to international cardholders, and in cooperation with the ministry will develop an online travel platform dedicated to that purpose.
Minister Vassilis Kikilias commented on cooperation with VISA that “as tourism constitutes an important part of the country’s gross domestic product and a leading sector regarding investment, it is important to form a policy based on actual data. In that sense our cooperation with VISA will considerably enhance our capacity in drafting our strategy for designing tourism products.”
He added that those data will help Greece set more precise targets, identify opportunities and aid in the organization of the country’s promotional strategy.