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.
Do you have assignees based in Hong Kong? If yes, is the recent instability having an impact? Many of our clients are seeing an increase in calls from concerned assignees asking to discuss their situation. Potential options such as a transfer to another location, increased flexibility to work from home, security briefings, and more, along with the impact of these options on their assignment policy.
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.
Oil was discovered offshore Guyana nearly five years ago, but the country has taken a fairly measured approach to development, bringing in consultants to ensure that the oil industry (and the country’s future economy) is stable. The first extraction project, Liza Phase I, is on schedule to begin production of 120,000 barrels of oil per day starting in Q1 2020. The rate of incoming workers is picking up speed and demand has risen quickly not only for rentals properties, but also goods and services.
Since the 2015 discovery of vast oil deposits two hundred kilometers off Guyana’s coastline, the country has become one of the hottest oil and gas locations in the world. The capital city of Georgetown is now a center of activity as exploration, planning, and infrastructure development progress.
Over my fifteen years of cost of living surveys, I’ve traveled by taxi, subway, commuter rail, and ferry to collect data. Once, while pricing a supermarket in China, I noticed bicycles were under 140 CYN (20 USD). Tired of crawling through traffic in taxis, I bought a bike and completed the survey riding around the city. I really enjoyed the freedom a biking survey provided but assumed it was an isolated event.
AIRINC recently adjusted its hardship score for Hong Kong, due to the continuing political volatility and unpredictability surrounding the demonstrations, as well as the heightened tensions resulting from the protests.
Barcelona has 1.6 million residents and an annual influx of 30 million temporary residents. This excessive number of tourists has brought instability to the city’s housing market as many long-term rentals have turned into short-term furnished units to cater to demand.
Since June, Hong Kong has seen unprecedented protests, larger and more frequent than any in the country’s recent history. We have increased the hardship scoring of Hong Kong in response to the rise in political volatility.