This year’s Family Travel Association Summit was rich in information, networking and hospitality, as the leading industry executives and experts convened at Custer State Park Resort in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
In a rustic, lodge setting, FTA members engaged in three days of discussions, listened to more than two dozen speakers and engaged in professional development to help them enhance their businesses.
During a Travel Agent Marketing workshop on Monday, attendees learned from the experiences of representatives from Trafalgar Tours and Excite! Holidays, about how families research vacations, and how agents can educate and influence those clients.
Later that morning, Family Travel Radio host Aaron Schlein led a lively and informative discussion about everything attendees need to know about how to launch, produce, edit and publish their own podcasts, while a Media/Supplier workshop informed delegates about how marketers and media are adapting to the changes in the media landscape.
As the FTA has done in years past, the Summit was the main forum to launch the annual FTA Travel Survey. The results were presented by Dr. Lynn Minnaert, Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies, home of the Tisch Center, and FTA Director of Strategy, Peter Bopp.
The survey results informed so many of the succeeding panel discussions and presentations, as participants like Tuesday afternoon’s dude ranch executive panel discussed the unique Western approach to helping families take family time together.
Panelists Russell True, Colleen Hodson and Teffany Precourt described how dude ranches appeal to families looking to decompress, disconnect and discover new skills they can master and make new lifetime friends.
Other panels the remainder of the week included how family travel suppliers can create Immersive Experiences, ways that travel builds Family Bonds, and how suppliers and destinations can Make Learning Fun.
The Summit’s formal presentations and sessions wrapped up Wednesday afternoon with a full afternoon workshop for FTA members to help develop the FTA’s future advocacy campaign, #TakeFamilyTime.
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