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Vacation Commitment Summit in NYC | June 15, 2015
The first conference of its kind, The Vacation Commitment Summit held in New York City on June 15th brought together corporate leaders, academics, work‐life balance experts, human resources executives and media from around the country.
Headed by John de Graaf, author of Take Back Your Time and now officially a non-profit supporting vacation legislation, I was happy to support this effort as a speaker alongside of many notable brands such as Go Daddy, MasterCard and the U.S. Travel Association among other notable speakers.
Below are excerpts from the conference along with some commentary:
According to the United States Travel and Tourism Association, there were 429 million paid vacation days unused in 2013. Kenneth Matos of the Families and Work Institute shared research from the National Study of the Changing Workforce that showed a sharp increase in employee “time famine.” Growing numbers of workers claim they don’t have enough time to spend with their kids, spouses/partners, or by themselves. In fact, I discussed why this trend as a driver to wellness travel. (Check out WTW's infographic, "What Motivates You to Travel," published in 2013.)
“Vacations are a major concern for everybody,” said Camille Hoheb, founder of Wellness Tourism Worldwide “Taking time off to vacation is a need not a luxury - facilitating not just better work productivity but also leading to personal happiness and fulfillment."
Laurie Brednich, Director, Employee Benefits for Go Daddy talked about her company's progressive vacation policies.
Research conducted by, Project: Time Off, a data‐driven initiative that looks at the personal+ business benefits of taking earned time off, entitled “The Mind of the Manager: What Your Boss Really Thinks About Vacation” revealed that while managers credit vacation time with maintaining team energy levels, improving employee attitudes, and enhancing productivity their communication with employees fails to deliver that message. Our own WTW research shows that employees believe vacations improve creativity, resiliency, problem solving among other positive outcomes.
The conference was a first step in gathering stakeholders in corporate America together and in one place to discuss how vacations are a social, economic and social well-being issue - something Wellness Tourism Worldwide has been advocating since 2012 through our research and reports such as U.S. Vacations: Health, Happiness & Productivity, Wellness Travel: Shaping America's Health & Economy.