Holiday Season Reminds Us to Spend More Time with Family

Vacation Is a Necessity Not a Luxury

December 2, 2008

Washington, DC (December 2, 2008) — As the year comes to a close, many Americans prepare to travel during the holidays to spend time with family and friends. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reminds them that especially during tough economic times, to remember that vacations are a necessity—not a luxury.

“Too many people look at vacations as a luxury and are ready to give them up as a quick cost-cutting measure. They shouldn’t,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA. “And now, more than ever, we need to take a break — a real break, not just a long weekend—from our stressed-out lives.”

ARDA points to a growing body of research that shows clear benefits to vacationing such as decreased stress levels; higher productivity and better job performance; and improved relationships. Overall, taking time to rejuvenate can lead to better physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, even before the downturn, Americans were working through their vacation time and taking fewer and shorter holidays. An Expedia survey found that an estimated 47.5 million Americans will not use all of their vacation days, giving back more than 460 million days in 2008.

The timeshare industry has long promoted the benefits of vacationing at least once a year, recognizing the inherent value of rest and relaxation for overall wellness. And, timeshare owners continue to travel during rough economic periods. According to the ARDA International Foundation (AIF) 2008 Vacation Timeshare Owners Report, in the past year, 81.9 percent of timeshare owners used, exchanged or banked their time for future use. Only nine percent of all owners left their timeshare unused.

“Timeshare owners are more likely than others to take their vacation time because they’ve pre-paid it and realize the benefits they get from a regular break,” said John de Graaf, wellness advocate and author of Take Back Your Time. “Taking a vacation is essential for health and a great way to bring an entire family together.”

Everyone deserves not only a vacation, but a better vacation. For more information, visit www.VacationBetter.org.

About ARDA
The American Resort Development Association is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC).

About John de Graaf
Executive Director of Take Back Your Time
De Graaf is an independent documentary producer from Seattle and the author of the documentary Affluenza. He also edited the book, Take Back Your Time. He is a frequent speaker on issues of over consumption and overwork in America. Take Back Your Time is a U.S./Canadian initiative to challenge the epidemic of the overwork/over-scheduling time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities, and our environment.

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