2016 FTA Summit Recap: Day 3

2016 FTA Summit Recap: Day 3


JUMP TO A DIFFERENT DAY: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3


The last day of the 2016 FTA Summit at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, brought a change of pace.

Leading off at the top of the morning, Rainer Jenss presented the first annual FTA Person of the Year award to Margo Peyton, Founder and President of Kids Sea Camp (pictured below).

Margo Peyton, President of Kids Sea Camp, receives her Family Travel Association Person of the Year award from Rainer Jenss

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

* Click here to view a short Facebook Live interview with Bill Street at the FTA Summit.
* Click here to download the presentation slides (Powerpoint file).

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.

2016 FTA Summit attendees participate in a cooking class at the Westin La Paloma

2016 FTA Summit attendees participate in a SCUBA experience in the pool of the Westin La Paloma

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).

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* 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.

Attendees talk family travel at the 2016 FTA Summit
* 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.

Attendees talk family travel at the 2016 FTA Summit
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!

Cowboy cookout at Tanque Verde Ranch, the finale of the 2016 FTA Summit Cowboy cookout at Tanque Verde Ranch, the finale of the 2016 FTA Summit Cowboy cookout at Tanque Verde Ranch, the finale of the 2016 FTA Summit Cowboy cookout at Tanque Verde Ranch, the finale of the 2016 FTA Summit
Special thanks to the storytelling team — Andy Austin and Cameron Martindale — for chronicling the full proceedings.

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