Skift Take

Compared to previous years we've done this survey, there's been an improvement. But really: a third of Americans say they didn't get a break in 2016, and that's not good.

My fellow Americans (as well as readers from around the world who are interested in how Americans travel).

We’ve looked at the habits of U.S. travelers for the past few years, either through stories or surveys, or other means. This year, though, we’re embarking on a 14-survey study that looks at U.S. traveler habits from a number of angles.

We’ll be releasing a survey every three or four weeks until the end of the year. Each one, we hope, will offer new insight into how Americans are traveling — or not — this year, what their priorities are, and where they dream of going.

We are starting this with a variation on a question we’ve asked for the last two years: How many vacation days did you take in 2016?

Important: This survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to 2,010 members of the U.S. adult internet population in January 2016, through Google Consumer Surveys. The methodology is explained here.

We asked the same questions in both 2015 and in 2014. For 2014, 42% of Americans say they didn’t take a break, while for 2015 that number was 41%.

For 2016, the picture was less bleak: 34.2% said that they did not take any time off throughout the year.

Yet still more than half of Americans (54.7%) who responded to the survey took fewer than five days vacation during the year. Compared to other countries, this is a low participation rate in the vacation economy. The U.S. remains one of the few industrialized countries that does not mandate a set number of paid time off dates for workers. For instance, every country in the European Union has at least four work weeks of paid vacation.

Takeaways from the survey follow:

Overall: Only 12% of the population said that they took time equal to that mandated for every resident in the European Union. Two-thirds of the respondents said that they took fewer than 10 days off during the year.

By gender: When you look at the results by gender, there is split between short breaks and long breaks, with more women saying they had no vacations and more women saying they had more than 20 days vacation. In the middle, though it’s rather equally split based on gender.

By age: As expected, older Americans tend to take more vacations. More job security, retirement, and stability always make it easier to take time off.


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Tags: labor, surveys, tha2017, tourism, usa

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