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Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Forget NYC — Bangalore is a new expat hotspot + Business travel won’t fully recover before 2026

New expat havens: With soaring housing prices amid rising global inflation and a pandemic-fueled work from home culture, new cities around the world are emerging as more popular expat hotspots by digital nomad visas, affordable housing, spectacular beaches, and flourishing cryptocurrency markets, Bloomberg writes. Some of the new contenders that are edging out traditional favorites (such as New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore):

The hipster / laidback destinations: Lisbon, with its good weather, affordable house prices, and beautiful beaches has established itself as a popular expat destination with good school options and a growing international community. Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro “continues to hold an allure” for expat workers, with stunning landscapes and world-renowned beaches, the business information service says.

The tech hub: Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) houses thousands of software firms and startups, due to inflows of venture capital, estimated at USD 7.2 bn in 2020 up from USD 1.3 bn in 2016. Money from global technology companies and foreign investors such as Sequoia Capital and Goldman Sachs has brought in a surge of expats and a growing number of international schools, restaurants, and bars.

The unlikely contender: Densely populated Mexico City, with a population of nearly 22 mn has gained traction as a center for entrepreneurs and startups in South America, attracting foreigners from around the world.

And speaking of expats and travel: Global business travel spending is unlikely to return to the pre-pandemic level of USD 1.4 tn until mid-2026, according to the Global Business Travel Association’s latest forecast picked up by Bloomberg. The outlook pushes back the recovery timeline by 18 months from the association’s last outlook report, according to Bloomberg. Recovery to 2019 levels has been stalled by the lockdowns in China, the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, disruptions in the supply-chain, and labor shortages. Global business travel is expected to come in at 65% of the 2019 level this year at USD 933 bn, with North America and Western Europe staging the strongest recovery.

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