We’ve had Bermuda, Barbados, Sardinia, Japan and The Maldives all dangle carrots in front of voyagers this year. Some focussed on courting digital nomads, others waggled their treats for travellers in general. And who could forget this glorified care home in Northern Italy attempting to lure young globetrotters with this enticing offer.
Hawaii has now joined the fun. The island paradise is “offering free round-trip tickets to Oahu to out-of-state remote workers who want to live and work there while contributing to the state’s economy,” CNN Business reports.
This offer comes as part of a temporary residency program called ‘Movers and Shakas,’ which is working with schools and businesses. ‘Movers and Shakas’ is accepting its first bunch of applicants until December the 15th (read: you’ve got about a week left to apply).
“Movers and Shakas is a small step towards economic recovery and diversifying our economy,” Jason Higa, the group’s founder, told CNN Business.
“The pandemic… has normalized remote work for the foreseeable future, so we believe this situation presents an opportunity for local residents to return home, and for out of state professionals to experience Hawaii, not as tourists, but as contributing members of our community.”
Before you get your sunnies and surfboard out, don’t get too excited. They’re not just picking anyone. CNN Business reports fifty people will be chosen for the first group and “later applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis.” Also worth noting is that you must be a remote worker and at least 18 years old to be considered.
If you get selected you must move to Hawaii within a month of being chosen, and will be required to spend at least 30 days in a row there. DMARGE also discovered, by clicking through to the ‘Movers and Shakas‘ application form, your “active public social media channels” and the amount of time you wish to stay in Hawaii may both influence the success of your application, too.
Also, as per the ‘Movers and Shakas’ website (and as CNN Business hinted at above), “Unlike other work-remote programs, not just anyone can become a Mover and Shaka.” The program says it’s seeking “individuals with the right mindset, who are passionate about the values of Hawaii and have the skills and expertise to contribute to our community.”
“An online application process will allow us to vet candidates while creating a feeling of exclusivity for the program. We’ll ask all applicants to take the Pledge to Our Keiki, a commitment to respect and protect the life, lands and waters of Hawaii.”
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To put the situation prospective applicants face in Hawaii into perspective, the ‘Movers and Shakas’ press release claims Hawaii currently has the lowest rate per capita of Covid infections in the country, “making it one of the safest places to live and work.”
Judging by CNN’s trumpeting of the news on Instagram, where various users have tagged their friends with comments like “move back there for the winter?”, “who’s coming with me” and “let’s go,” many are keen to wriggle their socks off, hop into their thongs, and go.
“So far, Hawaii has reported over 18,000 coronavirus cases, and more than 200 people have died,” according to CNN Business.