Over-worked, over-tired and stressed-out workers have one more thing to worry about with LaborDay behind them – how many vacation days they could potentially be losing this year. And next. In a fresh approach to marketing cruise vacations Royal Caribbean makes a key selling point: vacation time is invaluable and people are not using all of their vacation days. It all adds up to a sales and marketing opportunity for travel agents.
According to data released in a 2009 vacation study, U.S. adults who only receive an average of 13 vacation days per year typically leave three days unused. When considering that the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics has recorded approximately 153 million employed Americans, this means that each year an average of 459 million vacation days are going unused in the United States.
Based on these overwhelming facts, Royal Caribbean is encouraging consumers to use their hard-earned vacation days and reminding them that even the President – a person with arguably one of the hardest jobs in America – needs to get away every now and then.
“Vacations are not a luxury, they’re a necessity,” says John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time, a nonprofit organization that studies issues related to overwork. “Men who take them are 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don’t. For women, it’s 50 percent. And women who don’t take vacations are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression.”
Championing a “cruise them, don’t lose them” message, Royal Caribbean is giving vacation-deprived consumers encouragement to leave their desks behind in favor of some much needed rest and relaxation. The cruise line has recently launched a video – Vacation Daze – showcasing the irony of letting vacation days expire and the absurdity of this unfortunate reality. The video can be seen at www.youtube.com/royalcaribbeanintl.
A recent travel industry survey cited by Royal Caribbean suggests that close to half (45 percent) of working Americans let hard earned time-away go to waste in 2009; furthermore, three-quarters (78 percent) anticipate leaving as many as 10 vacation days on the table in 2010. Why the annual commitment to all work and no play? Most confess that coordinating schedules with family and friends is too difficult (51 percent) or they are not able to afford a “real vacation” (40 percent); others admit it is less about personal situations and more about work-life being too busy to enjoy time away (47 percent).
While consumers express pessimism towards the possibility of a work escape, adults who choose to go on vacation feel reconnected with the family (53 percent), more productive and positive about their jobs (34 percent), as well as the health benefits of being rested and rejuvenated. Visit www.cruisingpower.com.
Travel agents who want to explore more insights on cruise marketing might also attend Royal Caribbean’s Calling On the World Virtual Exposition that will be held September 28 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. The event will allow interaction directly with Royal Caribbean International's top executives and offer live video chats with experts and executives and wide access to resources. Much of the information is designed to increase industry knowledge along with tools and tips to boost business.