The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka announced a memorandum of understanding between ICTA, Hatch Works, enpact and the Digital Nomad Ambassador Competition winner Matthew de Caussin from Berlin, Germany. The competition was initiated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany as a part of the AsiaBerlin Summit program in 2021.
Digital Nomads are commonly known as individuals who embrace location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyles that allow them to travel and work remotely, anywhere over the Internet. Digital Nomads contribute to an economy of a country through technology transfer. In addition, Digital Nomads infuse expertise into the community, leading to new innovative ventures that could contribute to export revenue and GDP. UK-based travel blog; Clubmed ranked Sri Lanka among the top 15 countries for Digital Nomads globally. Sri Lanka came high up on the list as the second-best country for digital nomads to visit with low living costs and great remote working spaces.
Sri Lanka’s Government and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is in the process of introducing a ‘Digital Nomad Visa’ category. Alongside this, ICTA and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany got on board the initiative to attract Digital Nomads to the country. In line with this initiative, the ‘Nomad4LK’ Digital Nomad Ambassador competition was held as a part of the ‘Sri Lankan Embassy Day’ at the AsiaBerlin Summit 2021, in Germany organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany, together with partners enpact of Berlin, ICTA and Hatch.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Germany, Her Excellency Manori Unambuwe stated that “The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany is proud to have initiated the first-ever Digital Nomad Ambassador programme, a timely initiative to promote Sri Lanka as the ideal destination for Digital Nomads whilst strengthening the cooperation between the startup ecosystems of Germany and Sri Lanka. We hope that the initiative will be a stepping stone towards uncovering Sri Lanka’s untapped potential in this new market segment for Tourism, whilst showcasing the country’s modern infrastructure facilities for digital nomads from across the globe. We appreciate the inter-agency coordination and support in making this programme a success and look forward to embracing such initiatives in the future to bring more tangible benefits to the country.”
Mr.Oshada Senanayake, Chairman of ICTA stated “it is a significant moment for the startup ecosystem, especially when the startup ecosystem is experiencing tremendous growth. Digital Nomads or entrepreneur travellers are an emerging segment in the market. It is an opportune moment for Sri Lanka to capitalize on this emerging market segment. I want to thank the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany, enpact and Hatch for coming onboard this important initiative with ICTA”.
Mr. Jan Lachenmayer, Managing Director of enpact and implementation partner of AsiaBerlin stated, “we are excited to have selected Matthew de Caussin as the digital nomad ambassador for Sri Lanka, and as an ambassador for building bridges between Sri Lanka and Berlin. We could not have found a better candidate to connect these thriving startup ecosystems and to pave the way for more startup activities and collaboration.”
The startup ecosystem has provided a full-fledged package, including a return air ticket from Frankfurt to Colombo sponsored by Sri Lankan Airlines, co-working spaces in many regions, and uninterrupted connectivity hosted by SLTMobitel. Furthermore, the Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the Sri Lanka Association for Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) has sponsored accommodation for 14 weeks in 12 prime tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. In addition, a six-month visa has been sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism, along with several opportunities to engage with the startup community across Sri Lanka.
Mrs. Brindha Selvadurai-Gnanam, Chief Executive Officer/Co-founder of Hatch Works (Pvt) Ltd. stated “Sri Lanka has been working diligently to develop a supportive environment for urban tourism and entrepreneur-travellers, over the years welcoming communities and providing world-class co-working spaces. Hatch is excited to partner with ICTA on this initiative to build a framework to support the growth of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and investors to help the local ecosystem grow sustainably. Furthermore, we see partnering with digital nomads like Matthew de Caussin as an opportunity for Sri Lanka to attract technical expertise and create unique opportunities for cross-border collaborations”.
The Digital Nomad competition winner and ambassador, Matthew de Caussin, from Germany will travel around the island and experience everything Sri Lanka offers to the ultimate digital nomad. He stated, “the Digital Nomad Ambassador Programme is an exceptional opportunity to share what it’s like to work remotely from one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Many of the entrepreneurs I know are either already living the nomad life or are actively seeking to do so. I’m honoured to have been chosen to share my experience and to invite other entrepreneurs and nomads to join me in discovering what’s magical about living the nomad life in Sri Lanka.” In return, Matthew de Caussin, as the digital nomad ambassador, will set an example and help generate positive publicity about his ultimate digital nomad experience in Sri Lanka. He will generate greater awareness about the digital nomad experience in Sri Lanka, traveling to key cities and sites throughout Sri Lanka and showcasing his travel and lodging. Matthew will also share what it is like to work remotely as he travels, highlighting digital connectivity, the startup ecosystem, and the many co-working offerings available in Sri Lanka. The digital nomad ambassador experience will be shared with Matthew’s network and broadcast weekly across social media. The ultimate digital nomad experience will be shared on social media channels relevant to Germany, Europe, and many other startup networks in global markets.