KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has been ranked second highest in a global survey on vacation deprivation that showed 67 per cent of Malaysian workers wanting more downtime.

The 2016 Vacation Deprivation study by online travel site revealed that Malaysians only take a median of 12 out of 16 vacation days alloted to them, compared to European countries like France, Spain and Finland who use up all 30 days that they get.

Only about half, or 51 per cent, of Malaysians surveyed said they took their full holiday allocation.

“A lot of countries in this region feel vacation deprived,” Expedia Southeast Asia general manager Simon Fiquet told CNBC in an interview yesterday, as he highlighted Asian nations like Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Thailand that need a vacation.

The top ranked countries in the survey were Spain and the United Arab Emirates, where 68 per cent of citizens in both nations felt vacation deprived even though they spend all 30 days of vacation days received. South Korea ranked third highest after Malaysia, with 65 per cent feeling vacation deprived.

Besides Malaysia, other Asian countries similarly did not fully utilise their vacation entitlement, such as South Korea that takes only 8 out of 15 days, India (15 out of 21), Japan (10 out of 20), Singapore (14 out of 18) and Thailand (12 out of 15). Hong Kong bucked the regional trend, however, as they used up all 14 days’ vacation.

Countries in the region that felt vacation deprived were India (60 per cent), Singapore (58 per cent), Thailand (58 per cent), Hong Kong (56 per cent) and Japan (34 per cent).

Germany and France enjoyed the highest work-life balance, with both countries spending almost a third of their time (33 per cent) on vacation, compared to 67 per cent of the year spent in the office.

In South Korea, workers spend about 92 per cent of their time at work, with only 8 per cent on holiday.

“Interestingly, Europe is a case where people have a lot of holidays and they take them all. Their culture expects this,” said Fiquet.

The Expedia study surveyed 9,424 employed adults across 28 countries last September across North America, Europe, South America and the Asia Pacific.

– Malay Mail