A large number of work-from-home employees from all around the world, that have been moving to Athens over the past year, have become the protagonists of the new campaign 'This Is Athens', created by the Municipality of the city during 2020.
As the campaign explains, these “digital nomads” are top professionals from big international corporations, who are not able to go to work, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
Since they have been working remotely from home, they have chosen to live in Athens, for as long as these special conditions allow it, and work via internet with their companies in their home countries.
The Development and Tourism Promotion Company of the Municipality of Athens (EATA), started creating the 'This Is Athens' project in 2020, which was meant to become the official guide for visitors and tourists in Athens.
However, due the unexpected changes in tourism and all aspects of life because of the coronavirus outbreak, the direction of the project changed, with many people from abroad participating and presenting their unique experiences in Athens to the whole world.
The campaign officially started in mid-January and has already reached more than 6.3 million users in Australia, Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, England and Spain,
Many have already moved to Athens, or have signed up to relocate to the capital of Greece for the duration of this pandemic.
The EATA executives stated that in their campaign, Athens is presented to potential visitors through the eyes of numerous digital nomads, who are testifying to the international public their memories and life in Greece.
In fact, the protagonists of 'This Is Athens' themselves came up with the slogan of the campaign, which is “Even the lockdown is more beautiful in Athens.”
Burak Cakmak, director of the internationally renowned Parsons School of Design in New York and a critically acclaimed businessman in the world of fashion, stated that:
“I was looking for a destination to escape from everything, and I feel that I discovered the hidden diamond of the Mediterranean.”
“In Athens, professionals like myself, can have the best balance between work and personal life, at an affordable price, without being deprived of the comforts and rights that Europe offers,” he added.
For the last ten years, Burak has lived between London and New York and although, he says that he loves the energy of both of these cities:
"Athens has offered me, in addition to the good climate, good food and great hospitality, the best combination of natural beauty, young population, enjoyable activities, good prices and easy access to most places in the rest of Europe and beyond.”
“I strongly recommend everyone to make Athens their base,” says Burak, sharing his experience from the city.
Additionally, numerous small business owners and freelancers settled in Greece during the pandemic and shared their experiences in the 'This Is Athens' campaign.
The list of names of the new digital nomads in Athens include CEOs and top executives from large companies like Dell, Amazon, Pfizer, Microsoft and Google, among others.
Safiya Mary Rose, a copywriter from London who came to live in Athens with her partner at the end of October 2020, said that “although we had visited many other destinations in France, Italy and Spain, we had never really found our place.”
“I believe that Athens is an ideal mix of ancient and modern. It has everything you expect to find in a capital, plus a lot of art, history and culture.”
“It is an international place, with influences from the East and the West, and with a special sense of hospitality,” she emphasized, adding that Athens is a good base for anyone who wants to explore the islands and the mainland of Greece.
“One of my favourite experiences of working and living in Athens so far is swimming in the sea, because the water is warm enough even in January. It is a huge pleasure!”
“Also, the fruits and vegetables here are so delicious and it is fun to discover Greek recipes and try them at home,” she happily says during the campaign video.
Digital nomads have been sought after by cities around the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only because of their obvious economic benefits.
They have an important role in disseminating knowledge and technological advancements, as they are usually highly skilled workers in competing fields.
In his message for the 'This Is Athens' campaign, the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, underlined that “somehow Athens opens a window to people worldwide that are looking for a change during this pandemic.”
“On the one hand, the possibilities of technology, on the other hand, the environment offered by the city, put us on a different trajectory.
"Everything that professionals and employees describe about their experience in the capital shows something very important about Athens," he said, adding:
“We're doing our best to become better for those who will choose Athens as a reference point for their work from a distance. We open ourselves to the world, not only with what our past and our history have to offer, but also for a more modern way of life in our city."