The Family Travel Association is excited to announce the launch of #FamilyVacationsMatter, an advocacy campaign meant to rally its membership around the alarming trend of American parents not using all their vacation days and raise the awareness of the importance of traveling together as a family. Continuing what the US Travel Association started with Project:Time Off, The Family Travel Association has drafted a plan to address what is clearly one of our industry’s biggest challenges.
In the most recent FTA Family Travel Survey (2018), we spoke to adults with at least one child under 17 in their household, and they told us that:
- 58% who receive paid time off from their employer said they aren’t using all of it
- 24% said they used less than half of their paid time off
- 71% said “Travel is an important part of my child(ren)’s education” and “Travel has changed my relationship with my children for the better.”
Adults with children appear to deprioritize time off even more than the general U.S. population. In a separate US Travel Association 2018 study (the last conducted), 52% of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017.
“It’s disconcerting to all of us at the FTA, that despite the clear and stated benefits of traveling as a family, so many adults don’t prioritize the financial and time investment,” said FTA Founder Rainer Jenss.
The campaign will have its public launch formally in September, but in a members-only “pre-launch” of the campaign this week, the FTA held a series of conference calls with our Media Center, Travel Advisor and Supplier/Destination members, articulating the specific details for each member category, and how they can participate.
For the month of August, the FTA is encouraging our Media Center and Travel Advisor Members to write web content and use their social media handles to discuss and inquire with their followers about why so many adults don’t use all of their paid time off, and where family vacations fit in the prioritization of using that time off.
In September, the FTA will be taking what our members learn from their followers, and amplifying those comments and stories to the general public.
On conference calls this week, talking points, social media “memes” and other assets that the FTA will use on its website and social media platforms were introduced to its members. (Additionally, a #FamilyVacationsMatter microsite is under development for the FamilyTravel.org website, and will be launched soon.)
Supporting the #FamilyVacationsMatter campaign for the coming year is a 12-month calendar that offers common themes for members to build content around in the corresponding month. (For example, September will focus on the educational benefits of vacations as children head back to school.)
“In this way, our members will be speaking with one voice as much as possible, and the FTA can then amplify those voices, and cross-promote that content within and outside the organization,” Jenss said.
The FTA will dive deeper into the reasons why adults don’t prioritize family vacations more in our 2019 FTA Family Travel Survey. The FTA will present those results at the FTA Summit, Oct. 21-24, 2019, in Custer State Park, South Dakota.
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