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The U.S. Travel Association announced a new effort to increase Americans’ use of their paid time off. The initiative, named “Travel Effect,” was inspired by recent research released from Oxford Economics indicating that Americans failed to use a total of 429 million days of earned time-off last year, resulting in an estimated $160 billion loss to the U.S. economy.
“This is an issue that goes well beyond the travel industry,” said U.S. travel president and CEO Roger Dow. “A growing body of evidence shows that when we fail to take the time off that we have earned, we are less productive and creative at work, we put stress on our relationships and we undermine our personal health and well-being. Our initiative is simple and straightforward: Americans aren’t using all the days off they are entitled to and we have to change that fact.”
The plan relies on several factors in order to be successful: unique partnerships outside of the travel industry, including academic organizations, non-profits and private foundations, in addition to companies in the retail, energy and automotive industries; a comprehensive media campaign, including a dynamic website and strong social media presence; and a collection of opinion leaders and experts to convey core messages and key research results to audiences interested in family, health or business issues.
Travel agents wishing to get involved in the Travel Effect initiative may access toolkits on the company’s website or ask questions by email. Agents are encouraged to use the initiative’s message to support their own products.
“The U.S. Travel Association announcement marks the start of a long-term strategy to transform public perceptions so that personal time off is understood as a business investment, an economic necessity and a path to stronger families and better personal health,” said Dow.