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Quick question: If you have children at home, have you taken or will you take a summer vacation with them this year?
I’m sure most of you, especially those in the travel industry, will answer “yes.”
Now, for a slightly tougher question: If you have children at home, have you taken or will you take all your eligible vacation days so you can travel more with them this year?
Unfortunately, it’s likely that far fewer of you will reply with a yes.
The reality is that 58% of parents do not use their earned paid leave, according to the Family Travel Association’s (FTA) 2018 Family Travel Survey. In fact, that’s considerably more than the 52% of all Americans who leave eligible time off on the table each year. That’s not only a sad reflection of our society; it’s also 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, visiting new countries, staying at an all-inclusive or consulting a travel advisor. Simply put: They won’t be using our products and services.
So, what can we do to address these depressing statistics?
In 2015, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) launched Project: Time Off, an initiative designed to change the culture surrounding the use of personal time off. For the following three years, USTA invested in conducting groundbreaking research, publicizing the benefits of using vacation days and moving the needle in the right direction.
To continue the momentum that USTA started with Project: Time Off, the FTA is launching an advocacy campaign, #TakeFamilyTime, which is focused on changing the mindsets and behaviors of parents who don’t use all their paid leave.
The campaign will make its formal public debut in September, but in August, the FTA is encouraging its media and advisor members to use their social media influence and base of family clients to better understand why so many parents don’t use all their paid time off. We also want to know where family vacations fit in the prioritization of using those days.
In September, the FTA will take what we have learned and amplify those findings and stories to the public.
If interested, we encourage you to do the same and join us on this important crusade. Why? Because our business depends on it.
The DetailsFamily Travel Associationwww.familytravel.org