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As hybrid and remote policies around the world open up possibilities for collaboration beyond the physical office, the social fabric of cities well known for digital nomads is changing as well.

On the one hand, workers are eager to embrace the flexibility of not being tied to a fixed office. Today, a growing number of countries offer so-called “digital nomad visas.” These visas allow longer stays for remote workers and provide clarity about allowable work activities.

On the other hand, locals made it clear that there are costs and benefits to an influx of remote workers. A new research points out that “work tourism” comes with a host of drawbacks. In Bali, locals referred to digital nomads and other tourists as “bules” – a word that roughly translates as “foreigners.”

Generally the terms are used to express minor annoyance over crowds and increased traffic. Remote workers stay anywhere from weeks to months – or longer. They spend more time using places and resources traditionally dedicated to the local residents. This raises the chances that outsiders become a grating presence. Whether they’re lazing around or plugging away on their laptops, privileged tourists ultimately change the economics and demographics of an area.

How do you think this will change societies, cultures and tourism?

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