During my recent survey, I visited a number of cities in Kazakhstan, including Almaty, the country’s largest city and former capital, and Nur-Sultan, the capital since 1997 and known as Astana until March 2019. Nur-Sultan was a city planned under the direction of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev and was once called “the space station in the steppes” by the Guardian newspaper.
Despite the availability of options, public transportation in Casablanca feels prohibitive. The bus system is not really an option for expats or visitors as the vehicles are old and falling apart. The tram is modern, but stops are limited, and it doesn’t connect with major malls, hotels, or restaurants.
In Cairo, expatriates typically use a driver rather than relying on public transportation options. During my August survey I found that, even though taxis have meters, drivers are frustratingly unwilling to use them when driving expats.
Language barriers are common on survey, but each year technology makes it easier to get around and collect cost of living survey information. While in Bratislava during my recent survey, I arrived at a transport ticket counter to find that none of the staff were able to speak English, but this wasn’t as much of an inconvenience as it would have been a few years ago.
I recently surveyed Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, a city in the far east Russia, for the third time. Given the city’s size, it is easy to notice any changes. Sakhalin Island is developing in accordance with the government’s plan to promote tourism, which would also increase recreation options for expatriates.
Below is a video series taken by AIRINC Surveyor, Zenab Tavakoli, during her recent cost of living survey in Rome, Italy. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into survey life and the world of Global Mobility!
As a resident of Hong Kong, I’m used to seeing the supremely fast-paced development of a modern city: new skyscrapers, high-speed train stations, subway lines, road tunnels, highways, stores, restaurants, and even a 55-kilometer-long bridge were built in the short time that I’ve lived there.
Andrew Morollo, AIRINC’s most seasoned international cost-of-living surveyor, visited his 200th unique survey city in 2018. To honor this milestone, Andrew tells us about his career, and the lessons he’s learnt from 15 years of surveying, and a lifetime of travel.
When transferring assignees from low wage to high cost locations, many companies are confronted with this challenge: even with a COLA, their lowest wage assignees don’t have sufficient purchasing power in the host location, especially in comparison to their fellow expats and local peers.
Cost-of-Living Surveyors at AIRINC spend approximately half their time on the road, collecting prices and qualitative information about goods & services and housing. Surveyors are constantly on the move, required to navigate markets, auto shops, salons, grocery stores, and malls in different countries.