Squandered holidays

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Yosemite Park one of the popular hooliday destinations that might get more tourists if people used their holiday entitlement.

Yosemite Park one of the popular holiday destinations that might get more tourists if people used their holiday entitlement.

In the US, employees fail to take all of the holiday time to which they are entitled. It has been estimated by the US Tourism Association (USTA) that this amounts to 429 million holiday days.

Whether this is because Americans love their jobs so much that they don’t want time off or whether they believe insecure about taking all their time off, I don’t know. For the purpose of the travel industry it doesn’t really matter.

What matters to them is that there are all these holidays that could be taken but aren’t. This is an untapped opportunity for the American travel industry to grow by persuading these people to take all of their holiday entitlement. It is also an opportunity for overseas destination to do the same thing.

In USTA and in some American companies, those organisations are incentivising people to take their holidays by saying to employees that if they take all the time owing they will have a bonus of an extra couple of days the following year on top of their contracted number of days.

Holidays are important according to USTA for two main reasons. The first is that by having this extra time off strengthens family ties and children don’t grow up rarely seeing their parents. The second is that a holiday rejuvenates a person and acts as an improvement to health because the person doesn’t feel run-down. To this could be added that, on their return, a person is probably more productive.

There is another reason why industry would like to have these holidays taken. Unlike our countries you seem to be able to aggregate you unused holiday entitlement and be paid for it at retirement age.In  the UK most companies allow you to roll some holiday over but if you don ‘t use it then you lose it. USTA estimates that this means $224 billion is payable and, unless the trend reverses, it will only rise placing a burden on companies.

So, destinations, aim your sites at the US market. There seem to be lots of opportunities to persuade people to visit your area and use up some of that accrued holiday.

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