Peter Thompson is the founder of Remote Work (Barbados) Inc. Their mission is to transform Barbados into a fully internet-enabled country with a strong workforce of skilled remote workers as well as a dynamic ecosystem of expat remote workers. Peter is the innovator who gave the Barbados Government the idea to invite people to Barbados to work remotely on the 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp. We asked him a few questions.
What are the requirements to apply for the Welcome Stamp?
Both freelancers remote employees are welcome and the main requirement is for $50k USD minimum annual income.
Why is the Welcome Stamp important for Barbados?
The economic economic shock caused by the pandemic has been extremely severe because of our dependence on the tourism industry. Tourism used to earn Barbados well over a billion USD each year, much more than the offshore financial sector, rum exports, and every other export put together… but the tourism industry collapsed by more than 90% in the last three quarters of 2020.
Is the remote work visa program successful?
Even though the Barbados economy had its most dramatic slump in history in 2020, falling by 18%, the Welcome Stamp program propelled some real estate agencies to record high profit levels. Before the end of 2020 there were already about 2,000 successful applications and over 500 households has already arrived on the island.
Digital Nomads is not a good description of the people using the Welcome Stamp. This is a quite different market from the travellers who made Bali and Tulum into DN hotspots. These are better described as Digital Expats rather than DNs because it is their intention to stay put rather than maintain a hectic travel schedule of 4 to 6 different locations each year.
What are the feedbacks from the DN staying in Barbados?
The feedback from Welcome Stamp visitors has been very positive, with 92% rating Barbados as very suitable or suitable as a remote work location. They cited the good high speed internet infrastructure, convenient time zone, and great work/life balance. Many have stated their intention to renew for a second year, and some are enquiring about property ownership and permanent residence.
What are the advantages for DN to work remotely from Barbados?
The time zone is convenient for Toronto, New York, London, and Paris.
There are several suitable co-working locations.
The Barbadian people are personable and friendly.
There is a dynamic growing community of digital expats well integrated into local communities of interest.
What are the facilities for DN in Barbados?
The high speed internet infrastructure here is among the best in the world. There are several coworking options and new cop-living spaces are opening quickly. Because Barbados is English speaking there has been a very rapid growth community activities that are well integrated into the local communities.
Is there any future project you’re working on – related to the Welcome Stamp?
We are working to build collaborative entrepreneurial opportunities between digital expats and local people, particularly in the digitally enabled service export sector.
Are DN the future of the tourism industry?
Mass market tourism in the Caribbean was already headed for major change even before the pandemic under the pressure of climate change, carbon footprint, and sea-level rise; it is just that COVID has accelerated the rate of change toward a more sustainable economic model.
To know more about the Welcome Stamp: https://remoteworkbarbados.com