Research Insights Myth-busting the new digital nomad

Myth-busting the new digital nomad

February 2022
Phocuswright Research

There’s The Great Resignation and The Great Upgrade. But what about The New Nomad? Understanding shifts in work behavior and the labor market are crucial to travel companies wanting to tap into the lucrative market of digital nomads.

According to Phocuswright’s latest travel research report The New Nomads: Work and Play From Anywhere, the demographics of the New Nomad population illustrate that many of the previously held assumptions about digital nomads are outdated. The population's age distribution, education level, employment status and income paint a very different picture of the nomadic travel trend.

The New Nomad has also achieved a higher level of education than previously thought; it’s s a myth that digital nomads are all recent college grads postponing the daily grind. Nomads are more likely than the general traveler population to hold advanced degrees.

Given the changes taking place in work arrangements due to technology capabilities and the pandemic, the Nomad lifestyle is no longer accessible to only freelancers and the self-employed. In fact, only one in seven are independently employed. Nearly four in five have full-time jobs with an employer - and those jobs largely are not entry-level positions. The New Nomad has greater seniority at work and significant responsibility. More than three in four who answer to an employer are in management, and more than one in five are executive level.

Phocuswright Chart: New Nomad Employment Status
(Click image to view a larger version.)

With more established careers comes more disposable income, the New Nomad is banishing the image of universally hostel-hopping budget travelers.

Phocuswright Chart: New Nomad Level of Seniority at Work
(Click image to view a larger version.)

This report helps travel companies and marketers gain a crucial understanding of this demographic:

  • Factors driving combined work and travel
  • The New Nomad: Work Profile
  • Employment industries
  • Work schedule policies
  • Work location and habits
  • Spend and expenses
  • Concerns with adapting the nomad lifestyle
  • Number of annual trips
  • Destinations and structures considered
  • Lodging vs. Non-lodging purchases
  • Future outlook
  • And more

Remote work is seen as an opportunity to pursue a lifestyle that is more balanced and fulfilling. It’s up to travel companies to take advantage of this opportunity. The advantage starts with the report.

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