This we know: family travel is complicated. Actually, any travel is complicated, but layer in the challenges of catering to different age groups’ needs and desires, staying vigilant about the health and security of loved ones and covering long distances in sometimes confining circumstances, and you confront whole new layers of complexity.
That’s the tangle the Family Travel Association is unknotting.
By bringing together the world’s leading suppliers, resources and experts on traveling with kids, we aim to inspire families to travel. Through the promotion of family-travel experiences, education about the positive and lasting impact travel has on children and, of course, efforts to simplify the real and perceived challenges of planning family getaways, we intend to stimulate the industry and inspire the consumer, all to change the way families travel – charting a path for future generations of travelers.
The charting begins in earnest today with our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel.
Today we embark on a 15-month family-focused campaign that will spotlight and re/define family travel by cutting to the quick of family travel issues. To do that, we’ve identified 12 core topics that must be tackled in order to develop a rounded understanding of the challenges we face today and the work we can do as an industry to move forward with it.
Those core topics are:
1. The Changing Faces of Family Travel (introduction by Ethan Gelber)
2. How to Use Travel as a Learning Tool (introduction by Keith Bellows)
3. Easing the Anxiety of Flying with Children (introduction by Kari Haugeto)
4. Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While Traveling (introduction by Margo Peyton)
5. Technology’s Impact on Family Travel (introduction by Kara Wallace)
6. Traveling for Families with Special Needs (introduction by Jesemine Jones and Ida Keiper)
7. Volunteer and Philanthropic Travel Opportunities for Families (introduction by David Parfitt)
8. Family Travel and Nature’s Nurture (introduction by Lynn O’Rourke Hayes)
9. Making Family Travel Affordable (introduction by Tawanna Browne Smith)
10. The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Family Travel (introduction by Jim Pickell)
11. How Travel Can Change a Family (introduction by Dr Jessie Voigts)
12. The Future of Family Travel (introduction by Rainer Jenss)
The Re/Define Process
Our journey is in three stages.
Stage 1: Open Consultation (July 6 to September 26). We want to be absolutely certain that we hear what you have to say about these topics. To do that, we’ve partnered with an easy user-friendly discussion platform and open the gates to your input. Starting on Monday, July 6, we will spend 12 weeks conversing with you about the 12 core topics, one per week.
Stage 2: Expert Input (September 27 to 30). In late September, we are hosting our first annual Family Travel Association Summit at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana. Over the course of two full days, the assembly of travel industry experts, thought leaders, students, parents, educators and media will expand upon the 12 core topics through presentations, research and interactive workshops.
Stage 3: In-depth Analysis and Review (October 1 to September 30, 2016). Immediately following the Summit, we will begin a 12-month process of digging much deep into each of the topic, one per month. By the time we gather for the next Family Travel Association Summit in September 2016, we expect to have a much more powerful grasp of what’s at play in family travel.
We believe that the final outcome will be a compelling compilation of current wisdom and practical advice about family travel, all underscored by your voiced concerns, informed by industry experts and given thorough scrutiny by the engaged family-travel community.
We hope you will join us along the way.