National Plan for Vacation Day was Jan. 31

More than half of Americans don’t use all their time off, resulting in 658 million unused vacation days a year. The inaugural National Plan for Vacation Day Jan. 31 was a call for workers to commit to when and where they’ll travel in 2017.

“We know that half of Iowans did not use all their vacation days in 2015,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “Today, we’re encouraging Iowans to commit to traveling their home state in 2017 to discover the places and people that make us unique. Traveling and disconnecting from day-to-day responsibilities at home and work is proven to reduce stress and improve relationships. Employees who travel return to work with improved creativity and focus.”

Research by Project: Time Off, a part of the U.S. Travel Association, showed if American workers had used all their time off in 2015, it could have generated an additional $122 billion in domestic leisure travel spending. Iowa stood to gain $4.5 billion of this amount.

The newest Iowa Travel Guide is also available now to inspire people to plan a getaway in Iowa. This year’s version includes features on joy rides, best outdoor destinations, tasty road trips, antiquing and taking a European vacation without leaving the state. In addition, the comprehensive guide includes listings for nearly 2,000 attractions, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, hotels and cabins statewide. The free guide can be ordered online at traveliowa.com, by phone at 800.345.IOWA or picked up at any of Iowa’s 18 Welcome Centers. An online version is also available.

Tourism in Iowa generates more than $8.06 billion in expenditures and $466 million in state taxes, plus employs 67,400 people statewide. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information, visit traveliowa.com, call 800.345.IOWA, or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center.

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