Americans Are Taking More Vacations, Reversing a 15-Year Downward Trend

In good news for just about everyone, and especially the hospitality industry, more of us are making it a priority to take time off after years of letting vacation days go unused.

Americans took an average of 16.8 vacation days in 2016, up a little more than a half-day compared to 2015 and nearly a full day since 2014, according to the State of the American Vacation 2017, based on a survey of those at least 18 years old who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid vacation by market researcher GfK.

Sacrificing Vacation Days and Time Off Does Not Pay

While that’s still lower than the 20.3 days of annual vacation on average taken from 1976 to 2000, it reverses a 15-year decline. Days off may keep climbing: 96% of Americans say that using their paid time off is important to them, and 54% of Americans planned their time off in 2016, up from 49% in 2015.

That’s at least in part because it’s become clear that sacrificing vacation days doesn’t give people a leg up in the workplace. In fact, vacation skippers are less likely than vacationers to have been promoted within the last year (23% to 27%) or to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years (78% to 84%), according to the report.

What Does this Mean to The Vacation Ownership Industry? 

The renewed interest in taking time off is a clarion call for the vacation ownership industry.  More vacation days means more leisure travel and by default, more opportunities for timeshare marketers to connect with vacationers, or to motivate their existing owners to consume more of their time. By emphasizing an outstanding customer experience, the industry should be able to attract more of those vacation days and dollars that Americans are working hard to use.

We know that it’s very expensive to create a new vacation ownership customer, so every interaction from the initial outreach to the purchase and beyond is important. If you’re a reader of our blogs, you also know owner communications, financial engagement and HOA elections can make a huge difference in owner satisfaction and participation in everything from using and enjoying their timeshare week or points, paying their maintenance fee or mortgage, and voting in HOA elections.

Our Expresso applications for customer communications management, payments and elections can help you turn a good owner experience into a great one and serves as an important edge to draw in and keep more owners than ever. Please get in touch at

About the Author

Bryan joined Nordis Technologies in 2016 to manage and grow the company’s already-large vacation ownership client base. He also is responsible for business development and market expansion in the healthcare and financial services markets. Before joining Nordis, Bryan spent more than 21 years with Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation ownership services. Bryan graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of science in political science.