Dozens of small villages in Spain are offering cash payments to digital nomads and other incentives to move there. The advantages are designed to stem a worrying decline in population numbers.
The National Network of Host Villages, which has about 30 members, is trying to attract foreign workers to Spain providing coworking spaces, high-speed internet and, in some cases, up to $3,500 for moving expenses.
Participating villages are tiny, cheap and full of charm.
For example, Digital nomads can live for around $457 a week in Benarraba, a town of less than 500 Malaga residents in the northern region of Aragon.
Also in Malaga is Tolox, a picturesque village with a population of just 2,250. Located in the Sierra de las Nieves Mountains, the cost of living is economical at $175 per weekk.
In another area of Aragon, the town of Oliete has a small population of 343 residents and costs around $365 a week.. Despite its tiny size, it has a vibrant cultural and gastronomic scene.
For remote workers who prefer a cooler climate, the village of Kuartango in the Gorbeia Natural Park of the Basque Country has a population of only 430 people and a week cost of living around $360.
Tejada, located in the mountainous Canary Islands, also has mild climate. This small town only costs $240 a week. and it is only an hour’s drive from the sea.
In the region of La Rioja, San Vicente de la Sonsierra it has only 1,030 inhabitants and costs less than $240 per week per person.
Finally, two Spanish villages are so eager to attract newcomers that they are offering cash payments to digital nomads who choose to settle there.
In Asturias, the city of Ponga is paying $3,500 in the movement of expenses for workers who move to the area. Families that increase population will receive an additional $3,500 for each baby born in the village.
About that, Galicia’s Rubia regional council is offering new residents a payment of up to $175 per month.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital nomads have become one of the main targets of tourism.
Unlike traditional tourists, remote workers tend to stay in an area for several weeks or months, funneling money to local homes, restaurants, supermarkets, gyms, laundries and beauty salons.
Many countries have recently introduced digital nomadic visas, hoping these long-term visitors will help their economies recover after 18 months of travel restrictions.
Spain is upping the ante, betting that foreign workers will choose to settle permanently in the country and increase its population.