Digital Nomads

Meet Michael Freer, New Director of Digital Nomad Association Croatia

By 14 November 2021

November 14, 2021 - The Digital Nomad Association Croatia has a new director, Michael Freer.

A LinkedIn post from Dutch entrepreneur, Jan de Jong, President of DNA Croatia:

Please allow me to introduce you to Michael Freer - our newly appointed director at the .

I don't think we could have found a better person for this position. Aside from Michael's long trackrecord working for NGO's and social responsible organizations - he was also the moderator of 3 Award winning digital nomad conferences in Croatia. 

The combination of his deep understanding of the digital nomad subject - while having lived in Croatia for over 6 years - makes Michael the perfect individual who can help us to further elevate our efforts.

Up until now, we have already accomplished so much:

Croatia is a well-known and popular destination for digital nomads - ranked 2nd (after Japan)

Currently, Croatia is already hosting thousands of remote work professionals during the off-season.

The DN-community is growing every month

We have launched DNA Stay - where property owners can target digital nomads and where digital nomads can find mid- & long-term property rentals.

Now, the time has come to make even stronger efforts to unite and serve digital nomads and all other stakeholders in Croatia.

If you are a digital nomad in Croatia, or considering to come to Croatia - reach out to Michael.

If you are a business, interested in getting involved with digital nomads, don't hesitate to contact us.

If you want to list your property at DNA Stay - send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are representing a destination, aiming to welcome more digital nomads - this is the moment to do so.

Either way - contact me or Michael directly over #LinkedIn or email ?? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Special thanks to our sponsors/donors Raiffeisenbank Hrvatska | Hrvatski Telekom | KPMG Croatia | Links - for making this possible. ??

Thank you all for your support, your engagement and your love! 


Jan de Jong

President Digital Nomad Association Croatia

TCN caught up with Michael to learn more about his role at DNA Croatia, and his plans for the association

1. You have just started your position as Director of DNA Croatia - congratulations. Tell us firstly what is DNA Croatia, why do we need it, and what is your role?

Thanks Paul! DNA Croatia is here to support digital nomads and organisations working or hoping to work with digital nomads in Croatia. From before they arrive, to after they leave, we'll be helping DNs with their journey around Croatia, introducing them to the best places to work and play, whilst getting involved in the local community. 

We'll be gathering their feedback and communicating this to the powers that be, in order to improve the conditions and ease for DNs to come and stay here. My role is to pretty much set this all up and get things moving, meet digital nomads and local organisations and find out what their needs are and develop a strategy for years to come.

2. What are the key areas of focus for DNA Croatia in the next 12 months?

Our five key areas are always: Community, Information, Representation, Education and Certification. 

When it comes to the next 12 months, first and foremost we need to continue developing our Croatia wide community and get our membership up and running. We need to set up two way communication and information exchange to be proactive in ensuring the DN offer in Croatia is exactly what they're looking for. 

At the same time a lot of outreach is needed to all cities and local organisations that want to be part of the DN route, and with that comes education and certification. This could range for a DNA Croatia stamp of approval for certain accommodation or that a MUP office is fully informed in the DN process. Finally it's reviewing the success of the year (starting with 2021!) and looking how we can further represent our DNs.

3. Summarise where Croatia is on the DN global map, and the progress that has been made in the last 12 months. 

Croatia leapt ahead on the DN global map towards the end of 2020 and into the start of this year. This was mostly thanks to a range of amazing events that brought the right DNs here to further promote Croatia to their networks and a lot of social media buzz. The Digital Nomad Visa (sic) was launched, people were excited, and we've started having Croatian grandmas talk about digital nomads.  

The rest of the world is catching up now, digital nomad visas are popping up here and there, so now we're going to have to push forward, develop the permit further, and engage as many people as possible to show why Croatia is the place to be for digital nomads. Progress is a constant, and we are ready to keep Croatia up there as one of the top digital nomad destinations.

4. What are the biggest challenges Croatia is facing to developing its DN story?

I don't think it's necessarily unique to Croatia, because the challenges revolve around very similar things. 

First of all it is important that everyone understands who digital nomads really are and how they work. They aren't here for two weeks to spend their year's savings like a tourist, they're here for a longer period of time, traveling around and spending sustainably.

Then it's ensuring there's enough for them to do wherever they go, and in turn, having the community to support them, be it local or foreign. Community is a huge element of anyone on the road, and therefore local players need to ensure certain things to facilitate a community vibe and setting.

The final challenge is keeping the DN permit current and relevant. We saw how Jan was able to work in partnership with various ministries to push things through, and let's hope this will make it easier for any reviews and improvements.

5. How will DNA Croatia assist in developing the eco-system?

In 2017 I did an article with Slobodna Dalmacija about digital nomads. I worked with Split Tech City and interviewed a few of the nomads. I worked closely with Tanja from Saltwater and Tamara, formerly of WIP and now from The Works, to connect and run various events. Fast forward four years, and this weekend alone Split had three events for digital nomads, including a conference, a drinks and dinner social and a coffee meetup. I hope that my experience here in Split, and our collective work as DNA Croatia, can be shared and replicated across Croatia.  DNA Croatia has already done so much in connecting the private, public and third sector, and we look to continue this, and hope the rest of the eco-system is ready to help us.

6. Tell us a little about your partner project, DNA Stay, which launched recently. 

DNA Stay has just been launched, and serves as a central place for Digital Nomads to find accommodation, as we look to work with landlords to develop a friendlier rental market for those coming for at least a month. DNA Stay is actually owned by the udruga DNA Croatia, as we look to move towards being financially sustainable and into a social enterprise type model. This way we can generate our own funds to invest into some excellent community projects which have a long lasting and positive impact on the whole of Croatia.

You can follow the latest from DNA Croatia on the official website.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section