Several Belgrade-based IT organizations have teamed up to create a new digital platform that promotes Serbia to digital nomads.
The platform, BelgradeGetsDigital, aims to maintain Serbia’s excellent reputation among digital nomads and attract new remote workers to the country.
“The organizations around BelgradeGetsDigital are connected with the idea that investing in the digital economy is a great chance for the economic development of our country,” Tijana Stefanović, Project Coordinator, Digital Serbia Initiative, told emerging Europe. “Digital nomads bring very important international experience to the development of the sector, indirectly contributing to the development of the entire society.”
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, has become a hot spot for digital nomads in recent years, ranking eighth on the list of best places to live for digital nomads in 2021.
According to DSI, remote foreign workers are attracted to the city because of its friendly people, solid startup and coworking scene, and extensive transportation system.
Despite these qualities, most digital nomads remain in Serbia for less than 90 days before departing.
The creators of BelgradeGetsDigital hope to change this pattern and the first results look promising.
“The promotional campaign aimed at the nomads themselves resulted in more than 40,000 hits to the site and around 500 concrete queries by those who are preparing to come to Belgrade,” said Stefanović.
Making it easier for remote workers to stay in Serbia for the long term will also help.
Other countries in the region, including Estonia, Croatia and Georgia, have introduced special digital nomadic visas over the past 18 months, betting that remote workers will help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Serbia has not yet made the leap.
Instead, the government implemented a digitized program that allows foreigners, including digital nomads, to apply to stay in the country for up to 12 months.
Although the program does not have a specific income requirement, applicants must demonstrate that they are able to support themselves.
Johannes Hindler, a digital nomad who has lived in Serbia for about two years, welcomed the change.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it works,” he said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction.”