The new platform was created as part of a business incubation project to attract remote workers to rural areas of the municipality.
A digital startup has created a new platform to attract digital nomads to Loulé’s interior region. “Rural Digital Nomads was developed to promote the settlement of remote workers in the mountain parishes of the Loulé municipality”, said its promoter.
Founder and executive director of the startup, Fábio Jesuíno, said that, since the official presentation of the project on February 11, the platform has already been explored by “more than 3,000 visitors from countries such as the United States, Canada, Poland or England”. Around a dozen have already expressed a desire to settle in the interior of the municipality.
The platform’s creator was born in the Serra de Loulé, in the district of Faro and developed the project in 2021 “to solve a problem” that has always worried him: the need to “attract people to the interior”, working towards the territory’s development.
“There are many digital nomadic communities on the Portuguese coast, but very few inland. The project comes to fill this gap. That is, we intend to create digital nomadic communities in the interior to solve this gap and attract people inland”, said Fábio Jesuíno.
The platform includes useful information about the destination, consisting of the parishes of Alte, Ameixial, Salir and the Union of Parishes of Querença, Tôr and Benafim. However, Fábio Jesuíno’s objective is to later extend the project to “other areas of the country”, complementing the current offer in coastal areas.
“Our main objective is to disseminate the potential of Loulé’s interior territory”, he said. Through the platform, visitors can find content about the region, such as “what is happening there, the events taking place, but also information about localities, tourist sites and the best things to do in the area”.
There is also “a directory with information about restaurants and hotels”. Digital nomads can “register for free and have access to the community”.
“The community manager helps with this whole task of moving to the municipality of Loulé”, said Fábio Jesuíno, adding that another objective is to get digital nomads to “interact with the local community through events or local parties”.
The same source highlighted that these remote workers are also usually “very connected to technologies” and “have knowledge that they can share with the local community”, as well as “develop some projects that are innovative within these communities”.
The Rural Digital Nomads platform was created as part of an “incubation process” of companies and startups launched by QRER – Cooperative for the Development of Low-Density Territories.
The platform was only supported during its incubation process. Its promotion, carried out at the 2022 Web Summit in Lisbon and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, is paid for “with its funds. However, the project also has the support of the Loulé Townhall”, he pointed out.
So far, the impact has been very positive, with over 3,000 visitors to the platform showing “a lot of interest in digital nomadic communities” and looking for new areas to settle.
Fábio Jesuíno believes that the settlement of digital nomads “is a big trend; it is growing”. There are “about 35 million digital nomads worldwide”, he says, anticipating “prospects of great growth in the coming years”.