Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Nomad City

las-palmas-de-gran-canaria-playa-de-las-canterasWe’ve reported several times in recent years on the rise of the Digital Nomad in the island‘s capital, Las Palmas. The city is becoming something of a global benchmark for digital nomads and tech tourism.

Many new start-ups, at the vanguard of new web dev technologies as well as globally established names in ship building and oil rig maintenance, have drawn from the rich flow of top professionals who these days feel they no longer need to be tied to a desk, a city or even one particular location.

Nomad City Las Palmas, from December 5 to 9, is an event that aims to bring together more than 150 digital nomads from around the world.  The main difference between this event and those that have gone before it is institutional collaboration from both Las Palmas city hall and the Island Council (Cabildo) of Gran Canaria.

gran_canaria_3Repeatedly lauded for the lifestyle and opportunities it affords, for travelling professionals who use technology to work on their own projects, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has for the last four or five years been attracting companies, large and small, from everywhere in the world and is one of the top ranked destinations for those who feel free to trot the globe with their business running from a laptop.

“Our intention is to position the island as a prime destination for digital nomads” Nacho Rodriguez, director of Canary Coworking, recently told reporters in his role as one of the main promoters of the island as the digital crossroads of the Atlantic.

speaker_nachoRodriguez says the idea for this event came from the Nomad Cruise, which is a cruise ship that specialises in tapping in to this growing phenomenon by transporting  digital nomads en masse from Europe to various destinations in the Caribbean (St. Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados and Dominican Republic), its third such voyage leaves the port of Las Palmas on 10 December.

The plan is to take the opportunity presented by this concentration of professionals arriving on the island, all planning to embark on the voyage, to show them what Gran Canaria has to offer to people carving out careers with the digital nomad lifestyle.

ticket_stack_neutral-768x407Digital nomads and tourists often have not only high purchasing power, but also are naturally prepared to transfer skills and knowledge to local entrepreneurs and workers.  Simultaneously those that come here, spend time, and then move on, automatically grow the links from the island out to the rest of the the global community who, by their very nature, are transient and constantly seeking new opportunities.

Over the last few years there has been a clear boom in co-working spaces, hot-desk cooperatives, hubs and facilities, and Las Palmas has been tooling up to present itself as an ideal destination of choice, offering powerful incentives to attract these kinds of professionals. “We are in Europe with what that entails in connectivity, culture, security and medical costs. In addition, the climate, the atmosphere and the party are almost without interruption,” continues Rodriguez.

catedral-lpgcThe fact that, in the case of Las Palmas, the beach is integrated into the city means the island is able to fit neatly into some of the core incentives that drive digital nomads to travel in the first place.

Nomad City has prepared various events such as the Nomad talks, workshopping with highly successful entrepreneurs who are playing on a global scale, along with a series of activities for attendees to get to know the island bus trips, meetings with key service providers, tapas routes for urbanites discover Las Palmas and much more.

The aim is to build this into a recurring event which stands in its own right regardless of whether a boat load of nomads are scheduled to all arrive on the island together.

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