Malaysians among world’s most vacation-deprived people, survey finds

Almost two-thirds of Malaysians surveyed said they were very or somewhat vacation-deprived. ― Bernama pic
Almost two-thirds of Malaysians surveyed said they were very or somewhat vacation-deprived. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 ― Malaysians are the third most vacation-deprived population globally and ranked second in the Asia-Pacific, said

The online travel portal said, based on its 17th annual survey on vacation deprivation, almost two-thirds of Malaysians surveyed revealed that they were very or somewhat vacation-deprived.

Expedia South-east Asia and India General Manager, Simon Fiquet, said the primary reasons for the deprivation were budget or affordability issues, the desire to save up vacation days for longer holidays and the inability to get away from work.

He said the survey, which involved 15,000 full-time working adults in 30 markets, revealed that vacation deprivation was on the rise worldwide, with 53 per cent of respondents feeling vacation-deprived in 2017 compared to 49 per cent in 2016.

“Compared with the Americas and Europe, Asia-Pacific is leading the pack as the most vacation-deprived region, with South Korea topping the list, followed by France and Malaysia.

“Malaysia has been in the top five list of most vacation-deprived countries since 2015,” he said at a media briefing on the survey findings here today.

Fiquet said the survey also showed that one out of three Malaysians would still check their work-related e-mail or voice mail at least once a day while on vacation, and found it hard to detach themselves, corroborating the fact that they did not get to fully enjoy their vacation.

He said Malaysians valued their holidays and noted that quality time off was crucial for better productivity and performance, and was a critical part of the work-life balance.

The survey revealed that 77 per cent of Malaysians agreed that they became more relaxed after returning from a vacation, and a significant percentage said they would become more productive and focused, and able to think more holistically after taking a break.

Across the sectors, Fiquet said, the survey found that those in the marketing- and media-related industry were the most vacation-deprived globally, followed by those in the food and beverages and agricultural sectors.

Meanwhile, O Psych Sdn Bhd’s Organisational Psychologist and Certified Personal Coach, Hetal Doshi -Suhana Daswani, said workplace and personal stress were increasingly affecting employee’s well-being at a global scale and the World Health Organisation had classified it as the health epidemic of the 21st century.

“As such, taking taking time-off or vacationing to recover mentally, physically and emotionally from life’s demands has scientifically been proven to reduce stress, improve health, productivity, creativity and relationships.

“It is no wonder that there is an emergence of employers who are implementing wellness as part of their business strategy to improve employees experience and performance in the workplace,” she said.― Bernama