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Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Taps Top Agents for Industry Intel

Week of May 30, 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 Convenes First Travel Agent Council Forum

Over Memorial Day weekend, the FTA successfully completed its first-ever Family Travel Association Travel Agent Council Forum at the beautiful Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge in Big Fork, Montana (a perfect backdrop for this exclusive event).

As part of a plan to roll out its travel agent membership program and resource center for travel agents in the coming months, more than a dozen agents from around the U.S. were invited to the Montana dude ranch to help FTA senior management gather valuable insights and important intel, and assist the FTA in connecting with travel agents on a number of levels, including travel agent training, accreditation and resource development.

For more information and a complete list of agents in attendance, CLICK HERE. Also read this article about it from TravelAge West.

The FTA Gains Valuable Insights from Industry’s Top Family Travel Agents

Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral Post-Summit FAM Tour Added!

Local tourism boards, suppliers and hoteliers are collaborating to offer qualified FTA Summit delegates a post-tour FAM after the conclusion of the 2017 FTA Summit, being held from October 23-27 on Royal Caribbean International’s Majesty of the Seas as it sales from Port Canaveral to Nassau and the island of Cococay.

Coordinated by the staff of the Courtyard by Marriott, Cocoa Beach, the flexible itinerary includes a day at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC) and the option to enjoy the Brevard Zoo, an airboat ride, kayaking the 1000 islands or a relaxing day at the beach. The FAM organizers also include Visit Port Canaveral, the Space Coast Office of Tourism, KSCVC and an array of local suppliers and attractions.

To learn more, visit the FTA Summit FAM Tour page.

Airboat on Florida marsh
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Kids at Saturn V Center

Off-the-Beaten-Path Family Travel

In the most recent edition of our consumer-facing newsletter, we looked at Off-the-Beaten-Path Family Travel. With testimonials, tips and suggestions from more than a dozen family travel experts, it answers some important questions: Does “off the beaten path” really even exist or is it more a state of mind? And is off-the-beaten-path family travel appropriate?

Off-the-Beaten-Path Family Travel

The FTA Continues Its TV Groove

FTA Executive Director Chez Chesak appeared on Cincinnati's FOX19 to talk about some affordable family travel options. He specifically called out FTA members ACE Adventure Resort and Kampgrounds of America, while also reminding consumers what a great resource travel agents are for trip planning!
Fun Affordable Family Vacations

Keep an Eye Out for the FTA at Upcoming Events

* FTA Editorial Director Ethan Gelber will be answering questions about responsible/sustainable family travel as part of the Sustainable Travel Summit, a free, four-day, online event taking place June 1-4. #ITMSummit17
* FTA President Rainer Jenss and Executive Director Chez Chesak will be attending IPW 2017 in Washington, DC, from June 3-7. Interested in setting up an appointment with them? Send us a note.
* Jenss will also be present from June 13-14 at Travel MarketPlace 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, to talk about family travel. Register here.
Sustainable Travel Summit

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?

Adelman Discoveries
Adelman Discoveries
"We joined the FTA because we believe in the mission of the FTA to inspire families to travel. Many of our itineraries are perfect overseas adventures for the whole family. We create an experience where memories can be made, where family members will find fun, interest and comfort!"
– Craig Howard, VP, Tour & Group Sales
Babierge
Babierge
"Babierge is thrilled to join the Family Travel Association, as we share a similar mission – to delight and inspire traveling families and help them make lasting family vacation memories."
– Fran Maier, CEO
Libris by PhotoShelter
Libris by PhotoShelter
"So many of us here at Libris are parents and/or avid travelers. We're thrilled to be a member of an organization that champions family travel and offers a different perspective on the industry. We hope to help educate the FTA community on the power of visual storytelling so that they can continue to grow their businesses."
– Vanessa Tanicien, Event Marketing Manager
Martinhal
Martinhal Family Hotels and Resprts
"We are delighted to be a part of the FTA and join the collective voice for inspiring family travel. As Portugal emerges as one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations, we’re excited to showcase what this beautiful country can offer, such as unspoiled beaches, vibrant cities filled with culture and history, and our warm hospitality at our resorts and hotels made with families in mind."
– Chitra Stern, Founder
Mom Loves Travel
Mom Loves Travel
"I am a family travel specialist and want to belong to an association like the FTA that aligns with my travel specialty to enhance family travel journeys and make memories to last a lifetime."
– Dianna Graves, Travel Agent
Slope
Slope
"Slope joined the FTA network because of a belief that great storytelling and compelling content drives the travel industry to grow and thrive. We began as a creative agency and then started Slope to make that process easier. Family travel creates special bonds and memories, and the organizations that create those experiences rely on their ability to tell great stories and share the experiences of their customers to drive business. We hope that our software can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with planning, organizing, and executing on creative projects."
– Daniel Bloom, Co-Founder
Wilderness Scotland
Wilderness Scotland
"Scotland and Ireland remain largely undiscovered destinations for family travel but are second to none when it comes to that ultimate family adventure. Through joining the FTA we look forward to raising the profile of both destinations within a family context, as well as sharing our deep-rooted passion and enthusiasm for active and nature-based travel experiences here in Scotland and Ireland."
– Paul Easto, Company Director

Family Travel Association Member News

International Family Vacations: A Good Idea for Young Families?

International Family Vacations: A Good Idea for Young Families?
In mid-May, the staff at Thomson Family Adventures came across an article arguing the science behind the opinion that you should not take kids on an international vacation. (TravelPulse picked it up too.) They weren't in full agreement, so here’s the excellent rebuttal they shared on their blog.
For more on this topic – an argument against family travel rebutted by the great minds of the FTA membership – revisit our Special Focus: Is Family Travel a Waste of Money?

Adventure Travel – It's Not Just for Grown-Ups

Adventure Travel — It's Not Just for Grown-Ups
Family and adventure travel are two of the most lucrative and fastest-growing sectors of the industry. Now’s the time to combine these niche markets by creating rich adventure experiences for families. Take the example of what’s happening in The Palm Beaches, Florida.

Active Family Travel Demand Continues to Rise… and Travel Operators Respond

Adventure Travel — It's Not Just for Grown-Ups
As more and more families of all ages look to collect shared authentic experiences, while also doing more with limited vacation time, Backroads, the world’s leading active travel company, leads the industry with nearly 450 active family trip departures.

Piggyback Rider Hits the Multi-Million Viewer Viral Jackpot

Piggyback Rider Viral Video
As of this writing, a Piggyback Rider video has hit a nerve! With more then 46,000,000 views (yes, you read that right), 130,000 reactions and 900,000 shares, the video sold out the current order in five days and prompted thousands of preorders for the next manufacturing run.

Family Vacation Critic Favorite Hotels

Family Vacation Critic Favorite Hotels
Family Vacation Critic has released the winners of the fourth annual Family Vacation Critic Favorite Hotels Awards. Over 750 hotels received the honor of "Family Vacation Critic Favorite," having met set criteria based on reviews from the site's editors and community of family travelers.

Family That Plays Together Stays Together! 

Family That Plays Together Stays Together!
With 80% of USTOA tour operator members offering multigenerational/ family travel, travelers looking to get away with the ones they love the most have plenty of options. Here are a few itineraries spanning the globe that are sure to please even the pickiest of family members.

Learn How to Have a Learning Vacation

Learn How to Have a Learning Vacation
Going on a vacation to learn a skill sounds like an ideal getaway, but if you don’t pick the right skill or go in with unrealistic expectations, your precious time off won’t be enjoyable, especially if you’re with family. Here’s some planning advice from John Spence of Scott Dunn USA.

Stories from Antarctica: Nothing Compares to This Family Vacation

Stories from Antarctica: Nothing Compares to This Family Vacation
Powerful words from a family that traveled to Antarctica with Abercrombie & Kent: “We want to give our kids experiences that help them appreciate the world we live in.... None of us will forget... South Georgia and looking out over 200,000 mating pairs of king penguins. That’s the stuff that sticks.”

Alaskan Dream Cruises Identifies Family Travel as a Growth Market

Alaskan Dream Cruises Identifies Family Travel as a Growth Market
With early family bookings up 300+% compared to this time last season, Alaskan Dream Cruises’ 2018 season will see changes, such as more family sailings, three dedicated “Become a True Alaskan Family” departures and a welcome to children on any cruise (under age 15 is 30% off), plus new family programming onboard.

Family Travel Made Easy

Family Travel Made Easy
The beauty of organized family trips, like those provided by Backroads, is that everyone gets what they want, including family time together. The best family-focused itineraries split activities to keep both kids and parents happy and interested.

Travel Secrets: Multi-Generational Vacations

Travel Secrets: Multi-Generational Vacations
As people plan their summer family vacation, industry experts report a shift in direction – one to include more family members in the fun. But travel to please diverse generations requires a balance of planning, flexibility and patience. Here are some pro tips from Paste to help.

Vagabond Leads the Way in Irish Ecotourism

Vagabond Leads the Way in Irish Ecotourism
Ireland’s leading small-group tour company, Vagabond Tours, has become Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. “We see ourselves as one of the caretakers of Ireland and hope to leave our country in a good place for the generations behind us,” says Helen Cole, Vagabond’s marketing manager.

Planning a Family Vacation to Australia

Planning a Family Vacation to Australia
Properly planning a family trip to Australia takes time. The “best” option for busy parents is to work with an experienced travel agent, says Sally Black of VacationKids. They will get you the most value for your vacation dollar. To get started, she offers a few tips parents should consider.

Family Travel in Ladakh, India, the Land of the Broken Moon

Family Travel in Ladakh, India
Starting in the summer of 2017, Global Family Travels is opening its favorite off-the-beaten-path location to family travel! It is inviting traveling families to a unique learning and volunteering experience in India’s Ladakh region… and to discover some of India’s grandest wonders along the way.
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.

8 Minor League Baseball Parks with Tons of Family Fun by Matt Villano in FamilyFun Magazine

A Kid-Friendly Travel Guide to Lisbon, Portugal by Heather Greenwood Davis in TravelAge West

Why Your Next Family Vacation Should Be on a Train by Amy Tara Koch in Men’s Journal

Navigating Napa: Silverado Resort and Spa, a Family-Friendly Stay by Priya Vin in Outside Suburbia

Top 2017 International Destinations for Families by Shellie Bailey-Shah in KidTripster

Why Your Kids Will Love Antarctica by Eileen Ogintz on the Abercrombie & Kent blog

Family Travel Industry News

Want Family Travel to Really Count? Make a Plan

Want Family Travel to Really Count? Make a Plan
Families need a way to make the most of their vacations. Many now focus on the latest trend promoted by the travel industry: family vacation planning. This encourages families to save time and money in order to meet their travel goals. This article in The New York Times looks at how to think about it.

Most Kid-Friendly Cities to Visit in 2017

Most Kid-Friendly Cities to Visit in 2017
Planning a perfect vacation can be challenging. That’s why RewardExpert ranked the most kid-friendly cities to visit in 2017, comparing 53 of the largest metropoles in the U.S. and evaluating them on 16 key metrics across three categories: kid-friendly recreation, city profile and affordability.

Family Travel Myths Worth Forgetting

Family Travel Myths Worth Forgetting
Thoughts of long-haul mayhem or overheated little ones holding you back from taking that dream trip? Worried about broken routines, stressful dinners and glares on flights? If this sounds familiar, Lonely Planet has debunked some common myths surrounding travel with kids.

A Family Travel Blog Drives Bookings for Sarah Fazendin

A Family Travel Blog Drives Bookings for Sarah Fazendin
Sarah Fazendin turned a blog into a business.The self-styled travel designer from Denver, Colorado, owns A Family Travel Blog, inspired by travels with her young children. She launched the blog in 2015 and now operates as a travel agent with the same name… and focus.

Do Small Kids Gain Anything from Travel?

Do Small Kids Gain Anything from Travel?
In asking if her daughter, Peregrine, will remember anything about a trip to visit family in Sydney, Australia, this writer discovers that travel opens up unusual, vivid experiences outside of the everyday – and these are the memories that stick around the longest.

Surviving a Family Car Trip

Surviving a Family Car Trip
A road trip with the family could be one of the best experiences of your life. It could also be one of the worst. Time on a road trip with family can be a great way to strengthen bonds with your loved ones. Or it can go very wrong, very quickly. Help is at hand with this family car trip safety briefing card.
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.

5 Family Adventures in Panama City
From stalking iguanas to exploring a bold new museum, here’s a kid-friendly guide to experiencing Panama’s natural attractions.

What to Do in Bangkok for Families
Don’t miss the city’s iconic markets, tasty cuisine and stunning temples.

Legoland Introduces Ninjago Worlds in California and Florida
Families can learn the methods of the ninjas at Legoland’s new Ninjago World.
Copyright © 2017 Family Travel Association, All rights reserved.


     

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