Quick and easy question: If you have children at home, have or will you take a summer vacation with them this year? I’m sure most, especially those in the travel industry, will answer “Yes,” which is great. Now for a slightly tougher one: If you have children at home, have or will you take all your eligible vacation days so you can travel more with them this year? What’s not so great is that far fewer of you will reply affirmatively.
The reality is, 58% of parents do not use their earned paid leave according to the Family Travel Association (FTA)’s 2018 Family Travel Survey. In fact, that’s considerably more than the 52% of all Americans who don’t.
That’s not only a sad reflection of our society, it’s a real problem for our industry and for those who focus on family travel in particular. After all, if parents don’t use all their vacation time, they won’t be going on more cruises, visit new countries, stay at an all-inclusive, or consult a travel advisor. They won’t be using our products and services. And never mind that families won’t be gaining all of the benefits that come from taking time off together.
So what can we do to address these depressing statistics?
Back in 2015, the US Travel Association (USTA) launched Project: Time Off, to change the culture surrounding the use of personal time off. For the next three years, the USTA invested in groundbreaking research, publicizing the benefits of using vacation days, and started to move the needle in right direction.
To continue the momentum started by the USTA, the FTA is launching #TakeFamilyTime, an advocacy campaign focused on changing the mindset and behavior of parents who don’t use all their days.
The campaign will make its formal public debut in September, but during the month of August, the FTA is encouraging its members, including advisors, to use their social media influence and base of family clients to better understand why so many parents don’t use all of their paid time off, and where family vacations fit in the prioritization of using those days. In September, the FTA will be taking what we learn and amplifying those findings and stories to the general public.
We encourage you to do the same and join us on this important crusade. Why? Because our families and our business depend on it.
So now I ask you: Would YOU please use the form below to let us know how you feel about these issues and your thoughts about how both the industry and our workplaces can help make family vacations a higher priority.
Thank you for your continued support.
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