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Americans Are Not Taking Advantage of Vacation Time, Says U.S. Trade Organization

Feb 24, 2014 2:00 pm

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The U.S. trade association suggests Americans can improve the economy by traveling and spending more money, but it’s a flawed argument since many Americans don’t have the means to take leisure vacations .

— Samantha Shankman

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A man looks at his laptop while on vacation in the Alps. Jared and Corin / Flickr


Help the economy by taking more time away from work.

That is the message from the U.S. Travel Assn., the nation’s trade organization for the travel industry. A study commissioned by the group found that more than 40 percent of U.S. workers who receive paid time off finish the year without using all of their allotted vacation time.

Workers who are given paid time off had an average 3.2 days of unused vacation time in 2013, according to the study by the research firm Oxford Economics.

The study concluded that if Americans spent all of their allotted vacation time, the economy would gain an additional $160 billion in vacation spending and $21 billion in tax revenue, supporting 1.2 million jobs.

“Underutilized time off is a monstrous missed opportunity, not only for American workers and their families, but also for employers and the broader economy,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the Travel Assn.

“We seem to be wired to put the pedal to the metal, but there are also undeniable benefits to tapping the brakes.”

(c)2014 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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