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Family Travel Association Newsletter

Family Travel Experiences Come in All Varieties

Week of April 11, 2016

This is the newsletter of the Family Travel Association, a new coalition of leading family travel experts, media and companies coming together to create an industry voice that will transform the way families travel — charting a path for future generations of travelers.

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Family Travel Association News

A Meeting with the Travel + Leisure Travel Advisory Board

FTA President and Founder, Rainer Jenss, joined senior executives from the Travel + Leisure Travel Advisory Board (TAB) at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, to present the FTA’s exclusive research on American family travelers and the FTA’s plans for working with travel agents to help them better serve this important market.

The TAB is composed of some of the most recognized travel agency executives and owners specializing in the luxury travel sector in North America. Board members have a unique perspective on what is happening in the luxury travel marketplace. Collectively this panel of travel experts manages more than 7,000 travel counselors and drives more than U.S. $7.5 billion in annual billings.

Why Families Should Be Able to Fly Together

Our friends at Family Getaways/TravelAgeWest recently published an article by Ethan Gelber, our editorial director, about the state of efforts to legislate how families flying together should sit together, something in which we strongly believe.

Why Families Should Be Able to Fly Together

Free Webinar About Family Travel

A week from today, on Thursday, April 20, FTA Executive Director Chez Chesak (pictured below with his daughters) will join Robin Weber Pollak, President of Journeys International, for a free webinar about Adventure Travel: Transformative (and Fun!) Family Vacations. They will discuss how family travel and adventure travel go hand in hand. Register here.

Understanding the Family Travel Market - Where the Opportunities Are

FTA Spotlight Continues to Focus on Traveling for Families with Special Needs

At the current stage of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family campaign (download overview) we are searching for great resources about Traveling for Families with Special Needs.

FTA Spotlight

Children with special needs, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, should be afforded the same opportunities as other children to travel, see new places and enjoy enriching experiences. However, parents routinely report how difficult it is to travel with their special-needs children. Efforts at continued improvement by the travel industry will ensure that more families can enjoy the benefits of travel.

Do you have strong feelings about this? We want to hear from you!

FTA Is Social - Share with Us

We’re busy on social media sharing about family travel. Join the conversation on Facebook (/familytravelassociation) and Twitter (@FamilyTravAssoc) and be sure to use the #familytravel hashtag!

Family Travel Association Membership

The Family Travel Association membership base continues to expand, drawing in new associations, media outlets, destinations, tour operators, corporate entities, cruise lines, lodgings and travel specialists.

Who Are Our Newest Members?

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
"We are very excited to join the Family Travel Association. The FTA’s mission coincides with our CVB’s mission and we are committed to developing stronger relationships and educating the traveling public and industry on how and why to bring more families and multigenerational travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale."
– Caitlan Etchevers, Director of Domestic Sales
Journey to Africa
Journey to Africa
"We know and love Tanzania. We have personal experience from having lived in Tanzania to sharing Tanzania with our children and developing insight on how we can plan great safaris. This is as true for those on their first family safaris as it is those who have been bitten by the safari bug. Our repeat clients can attest. Let us show you our Tanzania."
– Mefi Alapat, President
Plus Travel Spain
Plus Travel Spain
"We are very pleased to join the Family Travel Association because it is the best of the best of family travel companies. It will help us to further our mission to enhance and better the lives of the families that travel with us."
– Mari Peralta Vera, Director
Visit Tucson
Visit Tucson
"As a wonderful family vacation destination, Tucson iss a natural fit to be a member of the Family Travel Association. This is a great way to work with others in the industry to increase business and improve experiences in our destination."
– Brooke Hamlett, Tourism Sales Manager
Warren Green & Associates
Warren Green & Associates
"Sustainable practices are critical to the survival of our planet and specifically our natural resources and cultures. To insure the survival of all for generations to come, it is vital that we educate the youth through travel and what better way to influence the children of tomorrow than through family vacations."
– Warren Green, President

Family Travel Association Member News

Kids to Participate in Webinar About U.S. National Parks

Kids to Participate in Webinar About U.S. National Parks
In honor of National Parks Week (April 16-24), Austin Adventures, the active travel company setting family adventure vacations standards on seven continents, will engage kids and their parents in a 45-minute webinar on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at noon EDT. The wonders of our national parks will be discussed.

Unexpected Bonds with Guides Add to African Safari Memories

Unexpected Bonds with Guides Add to African Safari Memories
Even on an African safari, children today can quickly lose interest in a lion stalking a gazelle. This is where good safari guides can save the day with stories and interactive activities. Many families return home having developed much closer friendships with guides than they do photos (well, any that get developed these).

Western River Expeditions Launches New Website Featuring 360-Degree Photography and Virtual Reality Video

Western River Expeditions Launches New Website Featuring 360-Degree Photography and Virtual Reality Video
Whitewater rafting outfitter Western River Expeditions recently launched a new, mobile- and tablet-integrated website with lots of kid-friendly bells and whistles that are sure to be a big hit with families. The new 360 galleries are especially great for kids, especially the Desolation Canyon trip which is the most popular family adventure.

FTA Spotlight: Traveling for Families with Special Needs

This week, several people shared important information in response to our call for contributions to the current FTA Spotlight topic: Traveling for Families with Special Needs. Three of them follow here. With all of April set aside as Autism Awareness Month (in the U.S.), we honor the unique travel challenges faced by families that embrace travel with their special-needs children... and reap the rewards.

A Travel Resource for Parents of Children with Special Needs

A Travel Resource for Parents of Children with Special Needs
All children benefit from traveling. Children with special needs are no different. Travel is full of teachable moments that promote cognitive growth. Here is a good list of travel tips that the special-needs-travel experts from Abeon Travel have found helpful through the years.

Autism-Friendly Travel

Autism-Friendly Travel
Autism-friendly travel for families can be rewarding but very difficult. Here are organizations identified by Shnieka Johnson that aid families traveling with children on the spectrum or with other special needs. The services range from approved resorts and airlines to arranging staff to care for children.

Winter Park’s Adaptive Sports Program Changes Lives of Disabled Kids and Adults

Winter Park’s Adaptive Sports Program Changes Lives of Disabled Kids and Adults
The Wells Fargo Cup — which attracted some of the country’s top para-athletes — started when a ski instructor in Winter Park, Colorado, volunteered to teach skiing to 23 children with amputations who lived in Denver. Now there are all varieties of adaptive equipment and a corps of more than 1,200 volunteers.

10 Best Beaches for Families in 2016

10 Best Beaches for Families in 2016
These hand-picked beaches offer opportunities to take part in many activities, plus all of the amenities families need — pristine and calm waters, restrooms, showers, parking, and nearby services and diversions, from historic sites to fireworks. Here are Family Vacation Critic’s best beaches for families to visit in 2016.

Kid-Friendly Hotels

Kid-Friendly Hotels
Listen up hotels! Eric Stoen has stayed at a lot of you, and some are definitely more kid-friendly than others. So he created a comprehensive check list of everything hoteliers need to do in order to create a kid-friendly dream hotel. Think of this as his initial manifesto, part of his desire to help change family travel for the better!

Day & Road Trip Tips For Single Parents

Day & Road Trip Tips For Single Parents
FlyingKids knows how it feels to spend time with kids in busy and unfamiliar places. To help travelers cope, they’ve described three short day trips for single parents with their kids and assembled single parent tips for surviving long road trips.

Family Travel Industry News

Celebrate National Park Week by Supporting Every Kid in a Park

Every Kid in a Park
All Americans should get out and #FindYourPark during National Park Week, April 16-24, during which all National Park Service entrance fees will be waived. They can also show support for parks by signing the #EveryKidInaPark pledge underpinning a movement to give every fourth grader (and his/her family) an experience of the living classroom of America’s national parks, lands and waters.

Connecting to the Modern Family

Connecting to the Modern Family
Summer’s almost here, and with the season comes the onslaught of family travel. Just like about everything else in the travel industry, this market segment is evolving in ways that marketers need to acknowledge, becoming more valuable than ever. Here are some important things worth considering.

Family Travel Focus in Trade Magazines

Vacation Agent Magazine
Apparently ’tis the season to focus on family travel! In April, Virtuoso Traveler has made it a central focus, while in March, Vacation Agent Magazine devoted a whole issue to the topic, including graphing some of the results of our 2015 FTA/NYU Family Travel Survey.
Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through TravelAge West

As part of a collaboration with TravelAge West, we are sharing selected items of interest from their family travel news desk.

Explore the Seine With Tauck's New River Cruise
The family-friendly itinerary will double the company’s river cruising capacity.

Celebrate the National Parks With Intrepid Travel
The tour operator is offering new itineraries in honor of the National Parks centennial.

Fishing Families Will Love These Alaska Resorts
Steamboat Bay Fishing Club and Waterfall Resort Alaska offer all-inclusive family fun.
Copyright © 2016 Family Travel Association, All rights reserved.


     

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