“We are now in a phase where we also want to let private individuals be partners and let the market work. I think it is a success, because we already have 700 people living and working in Madeira,” said Rui Barreto.
The regional secretary added that the “platform has more than 7,000 registered people who have already shown interest” in moving to the region and underlined that this project has positioned Madeira on the map as “one of the 10 best destinations in the world to work remotely”.
The governor visited a new workspace for digital nomads, the Hub Remotely @ Vila Galé, an initiative that stems from the collaboration between StartUp Madeira, under the tutelage of the Regional Secretariat of Economy, and the team of entrepreneurs of ‘HubRemotly’, in favour of the extension of the ‘Digital Nomads Madeira Islands’ project to other municipalities in the archipelago.
This is the first partnership with a private, the Vila Galé Hotel, located in the municipality of Santa Cruz, after the pilot project started at the beginning of the year in Ponta do Sol, west of the island.
Rui Barreto said that the Government of Madeira, of the PSD/CDS-PP coalition, “had to give support” in an initial phase, noting that “now the partnerships will also extend to the private sector”, highlighting the “very affordable prices” to access a “coworking space” and also to use the various services of the hotel, which has a special price also for stays.
Digital Nomads began with a pilot project promoted by the Regional Secretariat of Economy of this archipelago and Startup Madeira, which runs from 1 February to 30 June.
This project aims to attract remote workers, being involved, as partners, the community of digital nomads, local companies (hoteliers and owners of local accommodation, companies of tourist entertainment, restaurants, rent-a-car, health, consulting, lawyers, among others), the John dos Passos Cultural Centre, NOS Madeira (Internet) and international platforms (Nomadx and Flatio.com).
This is a business opportunity that, according to Rui Barreto, “has a huge impact on the economy” and is also a way to publicise Madeira to the world.
“Madeira has great conditions in the north and in the south. They prefer the south, because it has warmer weather and the sea has better conditions, but there are always those who prefer the north and we are already working in the municipality of Santana, São Vicente and Porto Moniz”, he announced.
Rui Barreto added that a number of contacts are also being “initiated” on the island of Porto Santo, because “many people want to work there”.
“We have the coworking (shared office) available 24 hours, we have other ‘coliving’(shared residence) already with local partners and our goal is also to boost local trade because there is a lot of supply that adapts to what a nomadic worker needs here in the county,” stressed Luis Pestana, one of the three entrepreneurs responsible for this new concept in the region.
The main goal, according to the entrepreneur, is to “bring together the Madeirans with the community”, in order to also provide “a new experience for Madeirans”.
Luís Pestana assumed some difficulty with the accommodation in Santa Cruz, city where the airport is located, emphasising the need to be able to “count more on the support of local accommodation and entrepreneurs of the municipality” because the “offer is low” for the demand that will exist in the coming months.