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Americans still stuck in no-vacation land

Each year Skift, a travel research company, surveys Americans on their upcoming summer vacation plans. The first question they asked this year was “Are you planning on taking a vacation this summer?” The overwhelming answer this year was almost exactly the same as the one they got last year – about
62% of Americans said they wouldn’t be taking a vacation this summer at all. More than half said they couldn’t afford a vacation. Only about 16% said they are taking a long summer vacation, while about 23% said they are taking short breaks on weekends throughout the summer.

Summer vacations plans 2015 1

In addition, this year Skift also asked the question in a slightly different way: “How many days of vacation are you planning to take this summer?” And the answer was that 45% said none, and another 15% said less than one week. The number of Americans taking a long summer vacation was the same as with the first question – 15%.

Summer vacations plans 2015 2

The results from this survey of Americans’ vacation plans is consistent with Skift’s early 2015 survey that found that 41% of Americans said they didn’t take a single vacation day during the entire 2014 year.

The good news is that more Millennials are planning on taking (short or long) summer vacations this year than any other age group. Middle-aged Americans (35-60 year olds), mired in the overworked economy, are amongst the least likely to take vacations this summer.

Affluent Americans (those above $100K incomes a year) are the most likely to take summer vacations this year, while those in the lower income bracket ($50K and below) are the least likely to. Parents and their families are trying to take a lot more summer vacations than the non-parents according to the survey results.

Although it might seem logical that those taking fewer vacations would spend more on staycation out-of-home entertainment in their local communities, our company’s research finds just the opposite. Average household location-based entertainment spending on trips has been on the decline for years while there has not been any offsetting increase in non-trip location-based entertainment spending. The reason is probably two-fold. First, lots of families can no longer afford out-of-home entertainment. Secondly, entertainment spending is shifting to at-home and mobile screen digital entertainment. So people are now getting a larger share of their entertainment fix on digital screens with no need to leave their homes, what is called digital hiving.

For additional information about digital, read The rise of super Digital Hiving.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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