All work and no pay!
A recent survey released through the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and conducted by Oxford Economics concluded that last year, American workers walked away from US$52.4 billion in unused vacation time, forfeiting a total of 169 million paid days off.
The amount of vacation time American’s take as a nation is currently at a 40-year low. USTA stated as recently as 2000, the average US worker took roughly 20 vacation days a year. By last year, that had fallen to 16 days adding ‘for most workers wages and income have stagnated since the recession’, which perhaps gives an insight why.
In a related TIME article, the findings of another survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the job and salary site Glassdoor, says ‘we’ (Americans) only take about half the time off we’re entitled to, and 15 per cent of workers who get a vacation don’t take any of it.
But should we deduce that economics is the sole reason? Again quoting Glassdoor, absolutely not!
Questioning people who take vacations only to work through them (which about six in ten workers do), a third of respondents said they do so because nobody else can do their job and about 20 per cent said they do so in the hopes of getting promotion.
Does this belief have any credibility?
Again, apparently not, reverting to the USTA survey which reveals that in fact people who forgo between 11 and 15 days are actually 6.6 per cent less likely to get a raise or bonus than colleagues who take all their vacation.
Other reasons given are that respondents were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed at work or in the words of USTA President and CEO, Roger Dow, ‘America’s work martyrs aren’t more successful’ and “ all work and no play is not going to get you ahead, it only gives you more stress’.
Clearly with an organisation that represents more than 2,000 tourism member partners, both corporate and individuals has a vested interest in ensuring the populous takes as many holidays as possible. But is there some way we can better leverage this vast number of potential travellers who currently abstain from or dramatically reduce quality rest and reinvigoration time?
From 7th September until the 14th November, American Airlines and US Airways reduce their mileage to 25,000 miles return from many cities which service Barbados, requiring one or more connections.
A planned trip to Louisville in Kentucky will actually cost me US$60 in taxes and needing only a single overnight hotel stay in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As I have mentioned so many times before, as a destination, we dismally fail to take advantage of these windows of opportunity and what is perhaps so surprising, they often occur during a time of the year when we clearly need the business.
The merged American Airlines and US Airways now have well over 100 million frequent flyer members and its difficult to understand why ‘we’ seem incapable of mounting a small campaign to attract even a tiny percentage of this vast number, who already have the means to reach us.