Back in September we reported that there really isn't a staycation trend, but rather the true trend is no vacation. Back then a skift.com survey found that 43% of Americans said they did not take a single day of vacation during the summer of 2014. Now we have the results from skift.com for the entire 2014-year and the results aren't any better. 41% of Americans said they didn't take a single vacation day during 2014. That's an awful lot of people who didn't spend a single dime on entertainment on vacation.
The average number of vacation days Americans take is on the decline. A 2013 study by Oxford Economics found that in 2013, workers took an average of 16 days of vacation, a more than 20% decline from the 20.3 day average between 1976 and 2000.
This sure helps to explain why participation and spending on location-based entertainment and arts admissions and fees on trips and vacations has been on a long-term decline.
The rate of decline in both participation and average household spending closely parallels the decline in vacation days.
Spending and participation data indicates we are losing a far greater proportion of lower income vacationers than higher income ones. Back in 2000, the top 20% of income households accounted for 34% of all participation and 44% of all entertainment spending on trips. Their share grew to 43% of participation and 55% of spending in 2013. The lower the household incomes, the greater the decline in both participation and spending on trip entertainment has been since the early 2000s.
So what we are seeing overall is both a decline in the number of households spending on entertainment and arts on trips and vacation and a decline in the amount the remaining participants are spending each year (adjusted for inflation), most likely due to a combination of them taking less trips as well as spending less on each trip.
The big question is will this downward no vacation trend continue and as a result, will we continue to see a decline in both participation and overall spending on entertainment on vacations and trips?
P.S. There can be little doubt that digital hiving is contributing to the no vacation trend. Check out our article in this issue: The rise of super Digital Hiving.