Expedia Group and Airlines Reporting Corporation’s 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook reveals saving tips for Malaysian travelers

Expedia Group and Airlines Reporting Corporation’s 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook reveals saving tips for Malaysian travelers

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Brand Expedia Study: Malaysia Ranked Fourth Most Vacation Deprived Globally

Expedia’s Annual Vacation Deprivation Report reveals that only 39 percent of Malaysians fully utilize their entitled annual leave

Expedia’s Annual Vacation Deprivation Report reveals that only 39 percent of Malaysians fully utilize their entitled annual leave

Expedia’s Annual Vacation Deprivation Report reveals that only 39 percent of Malaysians fully utilize their entitled annual leave

KUALA LUMPUR – Brand Expedia today released the key results of its 2018 Expedia Vacation Deprivation® Study in Malaysia, an annual survey that looks at vacation habits of more than 11,000 employees across 19 countries. The global survey conducted online across North America, Europe, South American and Asia-Pacific revealed that more than 67 percent of the respondents in Malaysia admitted to being deprived of a vacation, ranking the country the fourth most vacation deprived globally, after India, South Korea and Hong Kong.

According to the study, 34 percent of Malaysians are not able to take a vacation due to affordability and the guilt associated with taking days off and leaving work behind.  The survey also delves into the positive effects of taking a vacation in which 57 percent of Malaysians surveyed felt that going on a vacation helps to rekindle their relationship with a loved one, resulting to feeling more focused post- vacation.

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6 out of 10 Countries in Asia Pacific are Vacation Deprived Globally

Vacation deprivation continues to rise globally with Asia Pacific markets seeing the biggest increase along with France, Italy and the United States, with employees in Asia taking a much smaller proportion of their available vacation days as compared to employees in the Americas and Europe. Several Asian countries have greater than half of the overall workforce taking fewer vacation days than they are given; particularly Malaysia at 61 percent and Japan at 57 percent.

Brand Expedia Study: Malaysia Ranked Fourth Most Vacation Deprived Globally

Percentage of respondents who feel vacation-deprived in 19 markets globally

The most notable trend from the 2018 report are respondents from South Korea, showing a clear change in attitude towards their entitled vacations and taking time off from work. This year, only 72 percent of South Koreans felt vacation deprived, a 9 percent drop from 2017 where the country had the highest number of respondents who felt vacation deprived. South Korea’s lower ranking this year can be attributed to the recent introduction of new labour policies by the state government and strong support from employers in encouraging their workforce to take their paid time off.

In contrast, the least vacation deprived countries were Australia and Canada where both countries rank in at 54 percent follow by Japan at 53 percent. Australians employees received 20 vacation days which most took at least 14 days off, whereas Canadians only received 17 vacation days, of which at least 15 vacation days were utilised. Japan saw a huge leap as compared to last year at 48 percent, despite being one of the most vacation deprived countries. This year proved that Japan is clearly making changes towards its working culture and encouraging employees to go on a vacation for their mental health benefit with many respondents feeling it is important at 34 percent.

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Affordability Continues to Be the Main Factor for Malaysians While Planning a Vacation

Affordability has been cited as a primary reason why Malaysians haven’t been on a vacation in the last 6 months at 34 percent, a trend which continues from last year at 35 percent. Malaysia ranks right after South Korea and Australia when it comes to not being able to afford a vacation. This is followed by 27 percent of Malaysians that feel the need to save up time for a long holiday and 26 percent indicating that they can’t get time off from work.

“One of the leading reasons people don’t use their vacation time is because they’re saving them for a big trip which means they’re going longer between vacations,” says Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications for Brand Expedia. “Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can drastically improve quality of life. Aim to schedule a staycation or add an extra day onto a holiday weekend in between longer trips to get the best of both worlds.”

Malaysians Feel Guilty About Taking Their Entitled Time Off

An employee’s sense of guilt on leaving work behind is also among the leading factors that hold Malaysians back from taking a vacation. Compared to the survey conducted in 2017, the total number of Malaysians who feel guilty about taking their vacations days off have risen from feeling totally guilty and not taking any vacation days at all in 2018 by 2 percent.  The feeling of guilt somehow impedes Malaysians from fully enjoying their vacation with about 60 percent of Malaysians agreeing that the impending workload after a vacation also factors in their decision making. At least 28 percent would still check their work-related emails or voicemails at least once a day while on vacation and more than half at 64 percent of Malaysian respondents have gone as far as cancelling their holidays due to work.

Taking a Mental Break

On average, Malaysians have taken 3.5 days off for mental health well-being with the global average at 2.3 days. An overwhelming majority of 84 percent of Malaysians agree that regular vacations are important to general health and personal well-being, with the same percentage of Malaysians regularly taking vacations which are solely focused on their own mental wellness.

Taking time off for a vacation does have a positive effect on professional well-being as 55 percent of Malaysians have noted a more positive attitude to work approach, while 49 percent feel more relaxed and more focused after a vacation. Going on vacations also have inherent benefits to one’s personal health where 57 percent felt that it helps to rekindle their relationship with a loved one, while for 51 percent, a short vacation helped strengthen their relationship as well as making them feel more focused at home, with at 50 percent and 49 percent respectively agreeing that it helps them to reset their stress and anxiety levels.

Mental health day is a common occurrence around the world with about half of the global workforce (54 percent) taking at least once in the last year to rejuvenate and reset mentally. The results also show that 40 percent of Malaysians agree that their employers are supportive of taking time off and observing mental health day(s). On the contrary, about 60 percent of Malaysians believe that mental health day should be considered as a vacation day and not a sick day.

“We spend a lot of our waking time at work, and it is absolutely important that we think about our mental well-being. The short-term gains for giving oneself a break – even if it’s one day out of the office – can make a big difference in terms of reestablishing a better sense of well-being,” added Lavinia.

Additional highlights from the study include

“Affordability or not having enough to spare for holidays continues to be a reason why Malaysians do not go off for a vacation. As we understand that Malaysians have financial concerns when it comes to booking a vacation, Expedia’s 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook[1] released in February 2019, disclosed some of the best travel and saving hacks for Malaysians to take advantage off with the best time to book on hotels, airfares and time-based travel savings tips. From our booking data, we analysed that booking your hotel stay on Friday results in better savings. Other travel hacks that they may consider are bundle deals, which benefits travelers with greater savings when it comes to purchasing airfare and accommodation altogether, in addition to flash sales on-site or mobile that give added benefits to Expedia members,” concludes Lavinia.

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