NEW YORK (AP) - - Stop making excuses. Start making plans.
That's the message behind the second annual National Plan for Vacation Day. It's an effort by the travel industry to persuade Americans to use Jan. 30 as a day to schedule their vacations for the year and take advantage of any paid time off they are entitled to from their jobs.
Destinations, tourism agencies and others in the travel industry are expected to offer promotions in conjunction with the effort. It will be promoted on social media with a #PlanForVacation hashtag.
Last year, more than 600 organizations from all 50 states participated in National Plan for Vacation Day. Among them was Visit California, which used the campaign to publicize its annual California visitors guide.
Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has also worked to publicize state tourism and vacation opportunities.
Plan for Vacation Day is part of Project Time: Off, an effort by the U.S. Travel Association to get Americans to use up their paid vacation days. "We as Americans do not take enough time off," said TV travel show host Samantha Brown, a spokeswoman for the effort. "Unfortunately we do need a project to tell people to take time off. Americans leave on the table over 659 million paid vacation days. They let them go unused every year."
Research for Project Time: Off, conducted online by GfK, found just 49 percent of workers with paid time off plan their vacations out for the year. The top three impediments to planning ahead cited by respondents were uncertainty with personal schedules (64 percent), work schedules (57 percent) and kids' schedules (50 percent).
Project: Time Off estimates the lost spending from unused vacation days cost the U.S. economy $236 billion in 2016, money that would have supported 1.8 million jobs.