PETALING JAYA: A study has revealed that Malaysians are ranked the fourth-most vacation deprived globally, behind India, South Korea and Hong Kong.
The 2018 Expedia Vacation Deprivation study revealed that 67% of Malaysians are vacation deprived, a two percent increase from its 2017 survey.
However, an overwhelming majority of 84 percent of Malaysians agree that regular vacations are important to general health and personal well-being.
Ranking behind Malaysia is France, Singapore, Thailand, Italy and US.
Meanwhile, the least vacation deprived countries are Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.
The survey found that 17% of young Malaysians aged 18 to 34, making them the most vacation deprived age group and those working in Kuala Lumpur tend to be more vacation deprived (15%), compared with those working in other parts of the country (8%).
It found that on average, 64% of Malaysians have cancelled vacations due to work, and only 54% of employers are supportive of employees going on vacation.
The study also found that out of an average of 16 days of annual leave a year, Malaysians tend to only take 12 days.
It also found that the reasons behind the lack of vacations are affordability, guilt associated with taking days off, leaving work behind, the need to save up time for a long holiday and an inability to get time off from work.
Even those who go on vacation still feel a need to work, the survey found.
At least 28% would still check their work-related emails or voicemails at least once a day while on vacation, and more than half, or 64% of Malaysian surveyed have gone as far as cancelling their holidays due to work.
It found that on average, Malaysians have taken 3.5 days off for mental health well-being, with the global average at 2.3 days.
The results also show that 40% of Malaysians agree that their employers are supportive of taking time off and observing mental health days.
"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,” said Regional Head of Communications for Brand Expedia, Lavinia Rajaram.
“Bigger trips are great, but even a quick break can drastically improve quality of life," she said, encouraging Malaysians to go on staycations, or taking advantage of long weekends.
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