Next, Bill Street, Corporate Curator of Conservation and Education for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, took the stage for the last big keynote. Street’s talk focused squarely on conservation: why it’s important, how travel companies can teach kids about it, and how parents and grandparents can extend and amplify the lessons at home. (Bill’s keynote is covered in a bit more detail in our Day 3 Summary.)
“The younger generation will be responsible for fixing many of the global problems we face today. If youth and families aren’t connecting to nature today, how do we expect them to want to deal with these issues in the future?”
— Bill Stret, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Following this keynote, summit attendees again split into groups to pursue activities around the Tucson area: hiking at Saguaro National Park East; riding horses at White Stallion Ranch; visiting the Mini Time Machine Museum, a museum of miniatures; cooking and learning about local food with the Westin executive chef; and experiencing SCUBA (hosted by Planet Scuba located in Tucson and Margo Peyton of Kids Sea Camp) in the Westin pool.
After lunch, everyone present took part in three fun networking events:
* Prize Bestowal. Thanks to numerous sponsors, superb prizes were distributed to a lucky few Summit attendees, including a PADI Open Water Certification course (from PADI) and week-long dive trip (from Kids Sea Camp); a trip in Costa Rica (via Costa Rica Monkey Tours); and a trip in Ecuador and the Galapagos (via Tierra del Volcan and Latin Trails). Also awarded were an Eagle Creek bag to the best social media amplification during the Summit and… tickets for four on a cruise by MSC Cruises to one person from the team that won the Lego Contest (pictured below).
* Industry Charette. The goal of this collaborative session was to answer the question: “How can we inspire families to travel more?” What strategies and concrete actions could we take, as an industry, to work together at promoting, inspiring and facilitating family travel? Moderated by Ethan and Chez, the full group was split into teams, each of which brainstormed, chronicled and presented excellent ideas.
* Media Meet-Up. Sponsored by MSC Cruises, the Media Meet-Up was a chance for industry to meet some of the several dozen editorial media representatives in attendance. Using a loose format of grabbing any open seat every four to five minutes, business cards were exchange, story ideas were pitched and bridges were built toward a more collaborative future.
The 2016 FTA Summit concluded in the evening with an almost magical “cowboy cookout” under the desert stars of the Tanque Verde Ranch. Copious and delicious food and drink, atmospheric guitar music and heartfelt toasts were a perfect cap on a second year of FTA growth, a rich harbinger of good things to come in year three!