2019 FTA Summit Receives Rave Reviews

2019 FTA Summit Receives Rave Reviews

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Four out of five attendees at the Family Travel Association’s 2019 FTA Summit rated the conference as “Excellent” or “Very Good,” according to a post-conference delegate poll. Four out of five delegates also said they would recommend the conference to others in the industry as a result of attending this year’s Summit, Oct. 20-24, at Custer State Park Resort, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

“The impressive level and diversity of the attendees combined with the high quality of information made this a valuable event that exceeded my expectations, by a long shot,” said Russell True, White Stallion Ranch.

David Gilmore, Director of Partnerships with Wyndham Destinations’ TripBeat division, said “I’ve been to hundreds of conferences and summits, yet FTA puts together the most professional and well-intended event.”

The FTA Summit is an intimate networking community

Respondents to the survey said the top three reasons they attended the summit were:

  1. Networking opportunities
  2. Meet with travel agents
  3. Spend time with fellow family travel industry colleagues

According to the delegate survey, 71 percent of the attendees felt they were either very satisfied with the networking opportunities at this year’s Summit, or felt the networking exceeded their expectations.

“I made incredible connections with other like-minded leaders in the family travel industry while also learning about the trade and having an enjoyable time,” said Catherine Gray, Founder and Director of the Na’atik Language and Culture Institute, located in the Zona Maya region of Mexico.

“The FTA Summit provided me with the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals within the industry to discuss trends, issues, best practices and ultimately work together towards a similar goal,” said David Kartagener, President, Kartagener Associates Inc.

Said Michael Gelber, CEO IWorld of Travel: “FTA is a needed organization to collaborate with influencers in the travel industry, to focus on the importance of traveling with your family and loved ones.”

Some of the ways 2019 attendees described the event.

The Summit’s educational offerings and speakers exceed expectations

Some 85 percent of the delegates rate the family travel research shared at the Summit as either exceeding their expectations, or very satisfactory.

“Attending the FTA Summit opened my eyes to new opportunities within the family travel segment for my destination,” said Abigail Martin, Domestic Partnerships Manager, Travel Wyoming. “Gaining access to the research that backs those opportunities up is invaluable for myself and my team.”

Fernanda Villacis, with Neotropic Expeditions, said she finds the Summit to be an “important learning opportunity with like-minded professionals and people passionate about creating immersive travelling experiences with purpose for families.”

Two out of three delegates said the keynote presentations by Dan Austin, Austin Adventures, and Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures, left them very satisfied, or exceeded their expectations.

Summit attendee Morgan Bruemmer, Clear Creek Group, networks with a Custer State Park resident.

Surrounded by the natural beauty of Custer State Park Resort (including a bison that lingered near the proceedings Monday afternoon), 85 percent of the delegates rated themselves as very satisfied with South Dakota as a destination, or exceeding their expectations altogether.

“The Family Travel Summit was such a fun and informative industry event hosted in a wonderful and scenic location,” said Samantha Davies, Director of Sales North America, Excite Holidays. Davies called the Summit “a terrific way to learn about family travel trends and network with like-minded professionals.”

Finally, delegates said they are eager to hear about the Summit’s 2020 location and agenda, and start planning for next year’s conference.

“The FTA Summit is an event we wait for all year round due to its power in moving family travel,” said Stephanie Sheehy, Costa Rica Family Holidays.

The FTA “brings collaboration between suppliers, media and professionals so we can have one cohesive message to the public, said Loulu Lima, travel advisor and Owner, Book Here, Give Here Travel. “Being a part of this summit and the organization, allows me the opportunity to participate in this and grow my business. There is no other event that I’ve been to that affords me the same opportunity.”

“The FTA Summit is a must in my annual calendar,” said Laura Davidson, owner/LDPR and FTA Advisory Board Member. “Networking and learning more about family travel, getting hard data/research, and sharing best practices will help me better promote my family travel clients.”


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