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Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Guides Growing Family Travel Energy Down Multiple Channels

Week of March 20, 2017

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

FTA Summit Venue Scouting Report

Last week, FTA staff met key stakeholders of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) to scout the Majesty of the Seas, which will host the 2017 FTA Summit from October 23-27 as it sales from Port Canaveral to Nassau and the island of Cococay.

Held over two days, the site visit involved multiple meetings with the public relations, social media, marketing, sales and event coordination teams at RCI’s Miami-area offices, followed by an on-site inspection of the Majesty, docked in Port Canaveral.

Hotel Director for the Majesty of the Seas, Francois Chevalier, discusses the FTA Summit with FTA President Rainer Jenss.
Aboard the Majesty of the Seas, Anthony Meloro with RCI, FTA President Rainer Jenss, and RCI’s Laurie Bohn review a deck model of the ship.
inside the RCI Social Media Lab, RCI’s social media headquarters in Miami, which is staffed by a fulltime team and monitored 24/7
2016 FTA Summit video

Image captions (clockwise from top left): Hotel Director for the Majesty of the Seas, Francois Chevalier, discusses the FTA Summit with FTA President Rainer Jenss; aboard the Majesty of the Seas, Anthony Meloro with RCI, FTA's Jenss, and RCI’s Laurie Bohn review a deck model of the ship; a recently released short video that captures the energy and excitement of the 2016 FTA Summit; inside the RCI Social Media Lab, RCI’s social media headquarters in Miami, which is staffed by a full-time team and monitored 24/7.

“We discussed virtually every aspect of the event: delegate registration, embarkation, the ‘flow’ from session to session, the locations of networking events, transfers to post-tours – everything. It was an extensive overview of the Summit, as we'll work closely with RCI’s team over the next several months to ensure that every element of the event satisfies the needs of the attendees.”
— Rainer Jenss, President, Family Travel Association

The FTA expects 200 attendees this year, and also recently released a short video (see bottom/right image above) that captures the energy and excitement of the 2016 FTA Summit.

To learn more and see the draft agenda, a list of past attendees, travel information and registration details, CLICK HERE.

Important Reminder About Our 2016 Family Travel Study

2016 FTA Family Travel Survey
At last fall’s FTA Summit in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Lynn Minnaert of the Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at the New York University School of Professional Studies presented the findings from the 2016 Family Travel Survey, along with our director of strategy, Peter Bopp. This second annual consumer survey offers an overview of the family travel market through key statistics on travel attitudes, behaviors and preferences. Conducted in partnership with NYU, this survey provides the most comprehensive view of the family travel market in the US. CLICK HERE for a PDF of the complete study.
More about the FTA research:
We Are Family: Top Family Travel Trends of 2017 by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

Family Travel in a (Tricky) New Travel Climate

In the most recent edition of our consumer-facing newsletter, we asked a tough question: What is any traveler, but especially traveling families, to do in a travel environment where more and higher travel obstacles are shuttering borders that were once open, and where an overarching sense of negativity is making people think twice about leaving home? The result – Family Travel in a (Tricky) New Travel Climate – is an in-depth study, with comments from two dozen family travel experts, that tries to put it all into context.

Family Travel in a (Tricky) New Travel Climate

FTA Joins VISIT FLORIDA on Florida Tourism Day

Rainer Jenss with Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA
Earlier this month, VISIT FLORIDA and nine other statewide organizations hosted the industry's annual Florida Tourism Day at the state capitol. Rainer Jenss, the FTA president (pictured here with Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA), was there. Of particular importance was the Fight for Florida Jobs Rally with Governor Scott, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association's well-attended street party. Both sent a message to the Florida legislature that although the Florida House recently passed a bill to eliminate the VISIT FLORIDA budget, an effort continues to keep VISIT FLORIDA fully funded and set for success.

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?

Coltur Peru
Coltur Peru
"As a father of three kids (ages 15, 12 and 8), I've seen firsthand the positive change travel ignites in them. They gain cultural and historical knowledge and become more understanding and tolerant, less Peruvian and more "citizens of the world.” Working in the travel industry and being passionate about my country, it is both a challenge and an honor to help children from other countries experience the same changes and personal growth I see in my kids."
– Enrique Velasco, Director
Journeys Within
Journeys Within
"We have been booking trips for families since we started the company, but now as a mom myself I really see the importance of getting more kids out there and seeing the world. I have a passion for travel and I think it can be life changing for parents and kids alike. I love that the FTA is inspiring more families to go out and have adventures…whether it’s an RV trip to the national parks or an overseas adventure to Southeast Asia (which is our specialty!). I’m excited to champion family and extended family travel and see a new generation discover this amazing world!"
– Andrea Ross, Founder & CEO
Nature Air
Nature Air
"Becoming a member of the FTA is the best choice we've made in a long time. Costa Rica truly is a family destination and we needed a good channel to communicate our product. When the FTA was introduced to us, there was no hesitation in our decision to join."
– Mauricio Castro, Development Director
Raising Nomads Travel Co
Raising Nomads Travel Co
"I joined the FTA because I want to be part of an organization that promotes families enjoying life together. Travel is one of the best ways for families to create lasting memories and build stronger bonds."
– Angie Stubbs, Owner
Sandos Hotels and Resorts
Sandos Hotels and Resorts
"It is important for us that Sandos Caracol Eco Resort and Sandos Playacar Beach Resort are members of the FTA. The FTA is the only organization that brings together experts in the field of family travel who understand that it can include culture, education and unique experiences, all while having fun."
– Heidi Verschaeve, Director Of Business Development
Ski Utah
Ski Utah
"After hearing about the FTA from a journalist that I highly respect and looking into the association, I instantly realized that Ski Utah and the FTA are a perfect match. I look forward to the partnership."
– Paul Marshall, Director of Communications
WanderLust Family Travel
WanderLust Family Travel
"I want to provide my clients with the best recommendations in the family travel industry. The FTA is dedicated to bringing this industry together under one roof, where we can all learn from each other and leverage connections and expertise to make it easier for agents to connect and plan vacations that meet the needs of family travelers."
– Dana Lust, Travel Consultant
Watkins Printing Company
Watkins Printing Company
"Watkins Printing is proud to join the FTA as their first ever print partner. The FTA has gathered together the best and most dedicated family travel companies under one roof and we look forward to providing effective print solutions for those that need it."
– Tamara Watkins Green, President & Co-Owner
Wyndham Garden Brooklyn Sunset Park
Wyndham Garden Brooklyn Sunset Park
"We look forward to partnering with the FTA to expand our reach to the family travel market. As a family-oriented hotel in Brooklyn, New York, we believe that this partnership can help promote Brooklyn as a family destination."
– Omar Bouchaar, General Manager

Family Travel Association Member News

The 2017 FamilyFun Travel Awards

The 2017 FamilyFun Travel Awards
From campgrounds to cruises, beaches to big cities, and what’s best for tight budgets, ski bums, history buffs, campers and adventure seekers, these chart-topping vacation destinations promise priceless memories. FamilyFun asked 2,000 families that travel with kids ages 3 to 14 to rate 181 destinations in 10 categories, and these are the winners.

Family Travel Survey by Vacatia, TravelingMom, TravelingDad

Family Travel Survey by Vacatia, TravelingMom, TravelingDad
There’s another new family travel survey, jointly conducted by the social community of Vacatia, TravelingMom and TravelingDad. It covers spring break booking habits, friends going on family travel trips, confirmation that mom is the man holiday planner… and plenty more.

Five Volunteer Vacations for Families

Five Volunteer Vacations for Families
Let your kids lend a hand and leave a meaningful impact on the communities they visit, says Dave Parfitt. He quotes our director of editorial, Ethan Gelber: "Just as parenting is about more than showing and telling, so too is family travel increasingly about seeing and doing, especially doing things that build character and compassion.”

Alaska Family Travel Expert Releases New Book

Alaska On the Go: Exploring the Alaska Marine Highway System with Children
Alaska On the Go: Exploring the Alaska Marine Highway System with Children will soon be available for pre-order. The book, which focuses specifically on the Alaska Marine Highway System, is the second book about family travel in Alaska by Erin Kirkland, creator of the Alaska family travel website, AKontheGo.

Top Kid-Friendly Wildlife Sanctuaries to Check Out This Summer

Top Kid-Friendly Wildlife Sanctuaries To Check Out This Summer
There are numerous places to check out wildlife. These days, though, animal sanctuaries are common tourist attractions for families, as they give back to the community in a meaningful way in terms of conservation. Here are some of the top wildlife sanctuaries to consider for this summer.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Autism-Friendly Sailings: A Family’s Story

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Autism-Friendly Sailings: A Family’s Story
This family finally decided that the kids had reached a point in maturity to take a cruise vacation. As one of the children has autism, they were very excited about Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's autism-friendly sailings. RCCL has been certified by the Autism on the Seas Foundation as the first autism-friendly cruise line. Here’s their story.

10 Reasons Why Ski Lessons Trump Parents’ Instruction

10 Reasons Why Ski Lessons Trump Parents’ Instruction
Kids learn to ski and snowboard quickly with proper instruction. This is especially true because when kids take lessons they are given a clean slate. With a bit more of the Utah ski season still to go, let instructors teach kids proper ways to start, stop, get off the lift and more.

Royal Caribbean Adding Lifeguards to All Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean Adding Lifeguards to All Cruise Ships
Royal Caribbean has announced that it is adding licensed lifeguards on every ship in its fleet over the next few months. It is part of their new water safety program, which also includes water safety instruction signs on each vessel.

A Sumer Family Adventure with Frontiers North in Churchill (Canada)

A Sumer Family Adventure with Frontiers North in Churchill
What’s it like for a family to take in northern Manitoba’s great white icons – polar bears and beluga whales – and history and wildflowers too? Amazing. It’s what travelers want from a family vacation; “we” more than “I” stories and time together experiencing an amazing place.

MSC Cruises Reveals New Digital Innovation Program, MSC for Me

MSC Cruises Reveals new Digital Innovation Program, MSC for Me
MSC for Me offers families a more personalized vacation experience with wearable technology, interactive screens and more. Interactive bracelets help guests access their staterooms, make purchases and book services. They even let parents know where their children are, so the kids can play while the parents enjoy some alone time.

Uniworld Leverages Key Trends in the River Cruise Industry

Uniworld Leverages Key Trends in the River Cruise Industry
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is driving innovation in response to key travel trends, like multigen travel. In 2016, Uniworld increased its multigen family departures from five to 13, scheduled them during school breaks, hired dedicated Family Hosts to oversee children's activities, introduced child-friendly menus and more.

SeaWorld Summer Camps Offer Hands-on Educational Animal Experiences

SeaWorld Summer Camps Offer Hands On Educational Animal Experiences
For hundreds of kids, one solid summer camp option is camp at SeaWorld Orlando. They offer one-of-a-kind educational encounters that can’t be found in a traditional classroom. Each camp includes up-close experiences with marine animals designed to encourage a lifelong passion for wildlife and the environment.
FTA Media Center

Family Travel Thoughts from the FTA Media Center

Read some of the latest writing from the experienced and knowledgeable voices in our Media Center.

Family Scuba Dive Adventures in Bonaire by Ethan Gelber in FlightNetwork

Family Vacations That Don't Suck by Amy Tara Koch in Men’s Journal

Family Adventures and Vacation Ideas by Sally Black in VacationKids

Family Travel Industry News

Lonely Planet Has Introduced the New Kids Blog and a Language Series for Young Readers

Lonely Planet Has Introduced the New Kids Blog
Lonely Planet has unveiled its colorful new Lonely Planet Kids Blog, designed with families in mind. It includes travel inspiration plus mini quizzes and kids' perspectives – updated every week. LP has also launched a new language series for young readers, including books and interactive audio guides.

7 Travel Rules That Families Should Break

7 Travel Rules That Families Should Break
Traveling with kids is exciting, eye-opening and a chance to form lifelong memories together. Except when its stressful, which is why sometimes you're better off breaking the rules. Shared by family travel experts, here are seven rules that are meant to be broken when traveling with kids.

Baby on Board: Traveling with Infants

Baby on Board: Traveling with Infants
More families than ever bring their infants/toddlers with them on vacation. While that puts some travel suppliers in the position of having to please people traveling with and without babies, the hope is that ultimately travel companies will view babies as just as much a priority as any other guests.
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.

How Families Prioritize Travel in 2017
A new AAA survey shows that families are being intentional about vacationing together.

New River Cruises From Adventures by Disney
Itineraries offer tie-in with "Beauty and the Beast" films.

5 Behind-the-Scenes Theme Park Tours Perfect for Families
Theme park aficionados can enhance a day at the park with these exclusive experiences.
Copyright © 2017 Family Travel Association, All rights reserved.


     

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