Leisure Time Distortion: Study Reveals Americans Put Work First, TV Second, Family Third in Order of Time Priorities

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--()--Jan. 22, 2004--

  Results Inspire Launch of Leisure Time Advocacy Initiative and New Leisure Website  



Have you ever thought that if it weren't for work and to-do lists, you'd have plenty of personal time? If so, the Hilton Family Leisure Time Advocacy(TM) Study places you among the majority of Americans. In fact, the study revealed that most people feel pressured by a world where work dictates the pace and the quality of their lives, and where there is never enough free time.

To raise awareness of America's fleeting leisure time, the Hilton Family of Hotels, including Hilton(R), Conrad(R), Doubletree(R), Embassy Suites Hotels(R), Hampton Inn(R), Hampton Inn & Suites(R), Hilton Garden Inn(R), Hilton Grand Vacations Club(R) and Homewood Suites by Hilton(R), has created the Leisure Time Advocacy (LTA) initiative. Supported by a board of 12 academics, sociologists, medical professionals, authors, and leisure experts, LTA is addressing the serious issue of leisure time deficiency head-on and providing new solutions for bringing balance back into our lives.

The insight learned from both the new Hilton Family of Hotels study and the LTA board has inspired the launch of a leisure-time advocacy initiative and a new leisure Web site -- MyLeisureTrip.com(TM), which goes live today.

"With a healthier balance between work and play, people are actually more productive while on the job, which enables them to put in more quality work time in less hours, leaving more time for leisure," said Tom Keltner, president, brand performance and franchise development group for Hilton Hotels Corporation. "We are working closely with our expert Leisure Time Advocacy Board members to advocate leisure time in general as an antidote to stress, offer helpful time-usage tips, and provide a plethora of leisure-time and leisure-travel solutions, whether it's a five-minute mental break or a five-day vacation break."

The LTA study revealed that about a third of those polled (32 percent) say they postpone fun because they feel guilty when they are not doing something they believe is productive. Yet seven out of 10 say they simply need more fun in their lives.

"Sometimes it's a unique event over a weekend or a longer, exotic getaway that jars consumers out of their worker-bee habits, which is just the solution being offered by the Hilton Family of Hotels through its newly launched MyLeisureTrip.com leisure site, chock-full of easily accessed leisure events and activities within the U.S. and Canada," Keltner continued. "While the Hilton Family of Hotels attracts more than its fair share of the existing leisure travel market, we know that there is tremendous potential for stimulating even more leisure travel particularly during the more traditional periods of weekends, holidays and summer."

Live to Work

The bravado work mentality, while a staple of American society, leaves only one in 10 of us (14 percent) believing we have our priorities correct as a culture; on a personal level, one in three (34 percent) feel we live to work rather than work to live.

-- Three-fourths (74 percent) think that as a culture we place a higher value on our success in the workplace than our success at home; one-third (34 percent of us) believe we have our priorities decidedly in the wrong place.

-- The country is split as to whether the American work ethic of hard work and long hours has had a positive or negative effect on our culture. About one-third (33 and 31 percent, respectively) vote for each effect.

-- At the end of our chore-filled weekends, only two out of 10 Americans (23 percent) say they are energized and ready for the workweek ahead. The remainder report being in a negative state at the beginning of the week -- already tired, stressed or apprehensive -- or simply on "autopilot."

-- If we had it to do over again, only 15 percent of us would work harder, compared to 40 percent who would spend more time enjoying our leisure time.

Stressed but Happy?

With the pressures of daily life, it's no wonder then that eight out of 10 Americans report medium to high stress at work and six out of 10 feel these same levels at home. Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans say their stress level is higher today than it was five years ago.

Despite the high-strung scenario, nine out of 10 Americans say they are happy, with more than half of us (53 percent) reporting we are very or extremely happy.

Quality Time... With the Television

Americans have twice as much leisure time as we think we do, according to the Hilton Family Leisure Time Advocacy Study. Alas, the study also found that Americans currently are spending as much time each day with the television as they are with their families and friends.

-- Despite the magnetic pull of the TV, the majority of Americans (73 percent) recognize spending time relaxing with friends and family is among the best investments of time. Pursuing hobbies was declared the second best use of time.

-- Americans wish they had about one extra day of leisure time each week. With the extra time, Americans say they'd like to spend more time with their families.

Vacation Hesitation? Why Wait?

The Hilton Family Leisure Time Advocacy Study found that guilt, time and money are the main reasons for putting vacations and leisure time on the back burner. While seven out of 10 Americans (69 percent) feel they need a vacation right now, only half (55 percent) will take all the vacation days they are entitled to each year.

About Hilton Family of Hotels

Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. The company develops, owns, manages or franchises more than 2,100 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. Its portfolio includes many of the world's best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton(R), Conrad(R), Doubletree(R), Embassy Suites Hotels(R), Hampton Inn(R), Hampton Inn & Suites(R), Hilton Garden Inn(R), Hilton Grand Vacations Club(R) and Homewood Suites by Hilton(R).

The following service marks are owned by Hilton Hospitality, Inc.: Hilton(R), Doubletree(R), Embassy Suites Hotels(R), Hampton Inn(R), Hampton Inn & Suites(R), Hilton Garden Inn(R), Hilton Grand Vacations Club(R) and Homewood Suites by Hilton(R). Conrad(R) is owned by Conrad Hospitality, LLC.

About Leisure Time Advocacy (LTA) Initiative and Board

Leisure Time Advocacy (LTA) is a unique advocacy initiative that focuses on the conservation of free time. Formed by Hilton Family of Hotels in Fall 2003, its mission is to raise awareness about the very serious issue of leisure time deficit and to spark dialogues that will help Americans realize that leisure relief is critical to leading a well-balanced life. In addition to providing helpful tips and suggestions for adding more leisure into people's lives, LTA will challenge and empower Americans to think about how they value and spend their time, reminding people that time is a limited resource.

The LTA agenda is determined by the LTA Board, consisting of 12 renowned and respected academics, futurists, medical experts and life coaches who study the importance of leisure in America's lives. They include: Craig Finney, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Leisure Studies & Recreation, California State University, Northridge; Teresa Ghilarducci, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame; Geoffrey Godbey, Ph.D., Professor of Leisure Studies, College of Health and Human Development, Penn State University; Andrew Hoff, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Health & Human Services, California State University, Fresno; Benjamin Hunnicutt, Ph.D., Professor of Leisure Studies, University of Iowa; Arthur Kornhaber, M.D., Founder and President of the Foundation for Grandparenting; Janet Luhrs, Author of "The Simple Living Guide," "Simple Loving," and Publisher of the online magazine Simple Living Oasis; Andrea Pennington, M.D., Founder and President, Pennington Institute for Health; Joe Robinson, Author of "Work to Live" and founder of the Work to Live Campaign; John Robinson, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park; Erik Rosegard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies, San Francisco State University; and Veda Ward, Ph.D., Department Chair and Professor, Department of Leisure Studies & Recreation, California State University, Northridge. The Board exists to discuss, evaluate and offer suggestions for encouraging increased leisure time. The Board meets on a quarterly basis to discuss various leisure issues and ways to influence leisure-focused behavioral shifts in today's society.

For more information on LTA or its board members, please visit www.MyLeisureTrip.com.

About MyLeisureTrip.com(TM)

Launched by Hilton Family of Hotels in January 2004, MyLeisureTrip.com is a unique site for consumers seeking a host of hospitality, travel and experiential entertainment information and offerings within the U.S. and Canada. It also hosts information about Leisure Time Advocacy (LTA), Hilton Family's advocacy group that focuses on the conservancy of free time. Featured content, combined with advice and tips from the LTA board of renowned academics, futurists, medical experts and life coaches, will offer suggestions for changing people's leisure habits and encouraging increased free time to reflect on and enjoy life.

About the Survey

The Hilton Family Leisure Time Advocacy Study was conducted online from May 23 - 29, 2003 by Harris Interactive. More than 1,550 working Americans responded with their views on the value of vacations and leisure time. Significance testing was conducted at the 95 percent confidence interval.

More information about LTA, the Hilton Family Leisure Time Advocacy Study, and the LTA board, can be found at www.MyLeisureTrip.com.

Contacts

Hilton Brand Communications
Kendra Walker / Jeanne Datz, 310-205-4545
kendra_walker@hilton.com
jeanne_datz@hilton.com
http://www.hiltonworldwide.com
or
Cohn & Wolfe
Dawn Verhulst / Melanie Gravdal, 310-967-2900
dawn_verhulst@cohnwolfe.com
melanie_gravdal@cohnwolfe.com

Contacts

Hilton Brand Communications
Kendra Walker / Jeanne Datz, 310-205-4545
kendra_walker@hilton.com
jeanne_datz@hilton.com
http://www.hiltonworldwide.com
or
Cohn & Wolfe
Dawn Verhulst / Melanie Gravdal, 310-967-2900
dawn_verhulst@cohnwolfe.com
melanie_gravdal@cohnwolfe.com