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What you need to know about vacation deprivation in APAC: Expedia study

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Expedia’s 2018 Vacation Deprivation study released on 5 December 2018 has revealed a rise in the number of vacation-deprived employees, with the highest numbers coming from India (75%). South Korea came in second with 72%, while Hong Kong was third with 69%. Taiwan was among the lowest at 48%.

The top five countries where people leave their vacations unused are Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and India.

According to Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head, Brand Expedia India, one leading reason people don’t use utilise vacation time is because they are saving them for a bigger trip.

A few other reasons include:

  • Missing out on important work decisions
  • Fear of being seen less committed
  • Finding it difficult to coordinate time with their travel companion

Further, employees may not be given a chance to take a proper vacation, either because they are expected to be available for their colleagues and supervisors; have to check their emails at least once a day or they shun the thought of facing an impending workload once they are back.

Asian countries topped the list for the lowest number of vacation days received – Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and India were found to be the countries with the lowest annual vacation days (median).

At the same time, employees in Japan, Thailand and India took the lowest number of vacation days, with those in Malaysia, India, and Japan being known for taking fewer days than received.

The statistics below were also revealed, with Human Resources highlighting only the APAC countries in each list:

Last vacation was taken:

Within a month

  • Highest: Japan (60%), Taiwan (57%), Hong Kong (50%)
  • Lowest: India (35%)

Within last 3 months

  • Lowest: India (42%)

Over six months ago 

  • Highest: Australia (37%), New Zealand (35%)
  • Lowest: India, Hong Kong, South Korea (8%)

Reasons for not using all vacation days:

Save them in case something comes up in the future

  • Highest: Malaysia (54%), Thailand (52%), India (46%)

Work schedule does not allow for vacation / not enough staff to cover

  • Highest: Singapore (39%), Hong Kong (38%), Thailand (37%)
  • Lowest: India (35%)

Employees want to bank them / carry them over to the next year for a longer vacation

  • Highest: Thailand (34%), Malaysia (33%)
  • Lowest: India (28%)

Unable to afford

  • Highest: Australia & New Zealand (38%)
  • Lowest: India (24%)

Difficult to coordinate schedules with travel companions

  • Highest: India (33%)

Personal schedule does not allow for vacation

  • Highest: Thailand (38%), India and Singapore (31%)

Prefer to get money in exchange for unused vacation days

  • Highest: India (31%)

Fear that they will be seen as less committed/dedicated to the job

  • Highest: Malaysia (20%), India (19%), Thailand (18%)

Effects of vacation on professional life:

“I am more focused”

  • Highest: India and Malaysia (92%)

“I come back to work more relaxed”

  • Highest: India and Hong Kong (90%)

“I feel more motivated at work”

  • Highest: Malaysia (90%), India (89%)

“I feel more in control”

  • Highest: India (90%), Malaysia (89%), Thailand (87%)

“I feel more patient with my colleagues/clients”

  • Highest: India, Thailand (89%)

“I feel I deserve more vacation days than I am given”

  • Highest: Hong Kong (86%) & India (82%)

“I take fewer sick days throughout the year after a vacation”

  • Highest: Thailand (79%), India (77%)

“The chance for more vacation days would motivate me to change jobs”

  • Highest: Taiwan (79%), Hong Kong, India (68%)

“When I take a vacation, I have a hard time leaving work behind”

  • South Korea (73%), India and Thailand (69%)

“I am so busy at work that I can rarely use all my vacation days in a given year”

  • Highest: India (73%)

“I tend to work during my vacations”

  • Highest: India (63%)

“I would take a cut in my salary for extra vacation”

  • Highest: India (66%)

Effect of vacations on personal life and mental health:

“Regular vacations are important for general health and well-being”

  • Highest: South Korea (95%)
  • Lowest: India (93%)

“I feel a vacation gives me a chance to hit the ‘reset’ button on my stress and anxiety”

  • Highest: Malaysia, Thailand (95%)
  • Lowest: India (91%)

“Regular vacations help me feel better connected to my friends and family”

  • Highest: India (93%), South Korea (92%)

“I regularly take vacations where the primary goal is my own mental wellness”

  • Highest: Thailand (93%), Taiwan (91%)
  • Lowest: Australia, New Zealand (71%), India (89%)

“When I take a vacation with my significant other, I feel like it rekindles our relationship”

  • Highest: Malaysia (92%), Thailand (91%), India (89%)

“Regular vacations strengthen my relationship with my significant other “

  • Highest: India, Thailand (90%)

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