Will Naxos be the first of many islands to play host to professionals from around the world, perhaps even year-round?
I interviewed Jerome Bajou to find out more about his and his partner Luca Lattanzio’s plans for making Naxos an attractive and functional destination for Digital Nomads, through their project WorkFromNaxos.
Interview by Alexia Amvrazi
Please tell us a little about yourselves.
My name is Jerome Bajou, I was born close to Paris, France, 35 years ago. I am the CEO of Blue Mango Business LTD, a UK tech company that I incorporated in 2009. I’m also the Founder of CaptainBook.io, a travel-tech startup in the pre-seed stage helping tourpreneurs to sell their tours via their own website. I co-founded the website WorkFromNaxos with Luca Lattanzio in March 2021. Luca was born in Milan and is 42 years old. He has more than 10 years of experience in industrial automation software and has worked for industry leaders. He founded Naxos Vacation Rentals in 2016, a company focused on hotels, property management, and general travel agency services.
What led the two of you to team up for this project?
We both experienced the same problem with our life, leading us to move to Naxos: our work-life balance was completely off. We were working in high-stress environments – long hours – and somehow lost the meaning of it.
What is the active concept behind Work From Naxos?
I moved to Naxos in 2011 because of its central position in the Cyclades. It’s close to Mykonos and Santorini, both islands that have international airports, without being on the mass touristic path. The landscapes of Naxos definitely played a role as well. The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and is an island that remains very much alive during winter as well, due to its large population (22 000 inhabitants).
Four or five years ago, Luca and I were speaking about the Digital Nomad trend growing abroad, recognising the fact that we were somehow connected to it through the choices of life we’d made. The pandemic of COVID-19 accelerated the trend while slowing down the tourism market in general. It became clear to us that it was the time to help Naxos shift into this new era by facilitating the installation of Digital Nomads on the island.
Why is Naxos a great destination for Digital Nomads?
Naxos benefits from good weather almost all year round. It has lots of activities to offer (from sailing to trekking, ie. from sea to mountain activities). The interconnection of the island for electricity has made power on the island as stable as on the mainland while optic fibre is being installed in town. 5G will arrive, and Naxos (and Greece in general) will be covered by StarLink (the internet-by-satellite program created by Elon Musk), possibly as early as this year.
We joined the Digital Nomad Observatory just a few days after the launch in the context of the convergence of our visions. This partnership will help us build the Digital Nomad Community in Naxos in a sustainable way, benefiting both nomads and locals.
How would you be making life easier?
We offer consultancy services for Digital Nomads aiming at moving to Naxos and benefiting from policies voted by the Greek Government (50% tax break for the first 7 years of fiscal installation in Greece, the Digital Nomad Visa, etc). We also help people to settle in, find the right place to stay, and dealing with all necessary actions that will help them feel at home. Finally, we help companies that are willing to relocate to Naxos via different partnerships that we are making in collaboration with specialised lawyers, accountants, etc.
What are your greatest goals related to this project?
At the moment, we are working on analysing the needs of the Digital Nomads wishing to come to Naxos. We believe that creating a co-working space would be the right move to help build a community on the island, with networking events running alongside that. Our greatest goal for this project is to attract innovation to the island, having startups working from Naxos in tech of course; but wouldn’t it be amazing to have agritech startups choosing one of the most fertile islands of the Cyclades as their home?