WASHINGTON (February 3, 2015) – The U.S. Travel Association today announced Project: Time Off, the new name for the association’s initiative to prove the personal, business, social and economic benefits that taking earned time off can deliver.

The initiative, launched as Travel Effect in 2013, aims to shift culture so that using personal time off is not considered frivolous, but essential to strengthening families and improving personal health; a business investment with proven returns and an economic necessity.

“Project: Time Off better aligns our program name with the mission to get Americans out of the office and using their vacation time, however they choose to do so,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “Unused days off translate to overworked Americans who are stressed, unhappy and less productive at home and at work. Changing the mindset and behavior of our overwhelmed culture isn’t just a boon for the economy; it’s the right thing to do.”

Last year, U.S. Travel uncovered an epidemic facing the country: Americans failed to use a total of 429 million days of paid time off. This unused leave costs the U.S. economy $160 billion in spending that could support 1.2 million jobs in multiple industries, ranging from retail to manufacturing to transportation.

In 2015, the initiative will continue to conduct and disseminate original research around the benefits of time off while building on its communications success over the past year.

“There are countless industries beyond travel that stand to benefit from Americans taking more of their earned time off,” said Project: Time Off Managing Director Gary Oster. “But the greatest beneficiaries are Americans themselves who will enjoy stronger bonds with their families, greater fulfillment in their work lives and enhanced health and wellness as a result of time away from the office.”

About Project: Time Off

Project: Time Off is a research-driven initiative to prove the personal, business, social and economic benefits of taking time off to the American economy, businesses and individuals. Visit ProjectTimeOff.com.