Earlier this week, AIRINC hosted several industry leaders for a mobility innovation roundtable at our Cambridge, MA headquarters. The roundtable kicked off with a “sneak peak” of results from AIRINC’s latest 2020 Mobility Outlook Survey. Throughout the day attendees discussed current program challenges and the future state of mobility with their peers.
During my recent survey, I visited the Avenue Mall in Manama, a seafront mall stretching for 1.5 km. It reminded me of the Avenue Mall in Kuwait because it provides an outdoor feeling with large glass windows and skylights, while protecting shoppers from the burning sun. As anyone that’s traveled to Bahrain knows, the country is a popular destination for residents of Saudi Arabia seeking recreation and malls are one of the top attractions. Numerous expatriates and Saudi Arabians visit Bahrain for the shopping, movies, restaurants, waterparks, and other activities.
On my last survey, a five-week trip across Africa, I visited Lagos, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt, two of the most notorious traffic destinations in the world. These locations lived up to their hype, and I spent a lot of time sitting in traffic. However, I was surprised to find that Nairobi, Kenya’s traffic was almost as bad despite lacking the same level of notoriety. Nairobi’s three main issues are a shortage of stop signs and traffic lights at intersections, poor road quality, and incredible amounts of construction that disrupt traffic routes.
The LTA benchmark provides a comprehensive overview of policies and practices for temporary long-term international assignments. In addition to a detailed look at pre- and post-assignment, relocation, and on-assignment benefits, the benchmark reviews pay and tax approaches, and highlights the trend toward greater flexibility both in policy configuration and in how benefits are delivered.
During my recent survey, I visited two small cities in Kazakhstan near the Caspian Sea. Oil is the main industry in this region, and these cities are no exception. The first of these cities I visited was Aktau, which directly overlooks the Caspian Sea. The city was originally built as an oil camp decades ago, and even now the city feels rural. The air in the city is dry and roads are not particularly walkable.
In the past year, AIRINC has seen a surge in requests for benchmarking information. This is not surprising given that our industry is undergoing tremendous change. During uncertain times, keeping a pulse on evolving practices becomes even more important. While many things in global mobility are different today, there are three main reasons benchmarking has recently increased in importance.
During my survey of Bangkok, I found the multiple transportation systems available for use extremely helpful, especially in comparison to other Southeast Asian cities. In Yangon, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, I was entirely dependent on taxis and rideshare apps, as there are no functioning rail systems, the buses are difficult for foreigners to use, and the cities are not particularly pedestrian friendly. Conversely, in Bangkok, I used a much more balanced mix of rideshare, metro (MRT), Skytrain (BTS), and walking.
AIRINC is delighted to invite you to participate in a benchmark survey focused on executive relocation practices. The survey primarily focuses on US domestic moves but also touches on international one-way relocations and two-way assignments. Responses are anonymous and participants will receive a copy of the results. We hope you can join us!
Hong Kong has been subject to ongoing street protests since June 2019. The protests have led to varying degrees of disruptions in daily living for residents, a sharp reduction in tourists visiting the city, and most recently, an economic downturn considered to be the worst since 2008.
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.