FTA Summit 2019



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October, 20-24, 2019 • Custer State Park Resort, South Dakota


Accommodations: Suppliers | Agents/Media

Airport/Resort Transfers: Click here for the FTA Special Negotiated Rate

Click here to download a copy of the Custer State Park automobile pass, required if you are driving your personal vehicle or renting a car.


Click here to schedule your meetings and networking time via Presdo.com!

About the Summit

The annual FTA Summit is a three-day, trade-only, conference-style event that brings together the leading players and key influencers in family travel. Come prepared to network with fellow FTA members and industry professionals while gaining key insights and learning about best practices from the experts through inspiring presentations, interactive workshops, enlightening research, and a diverse array of networking opportunities.


  • A select group of our over 100 Media Center Members, including those who represent brands such as AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Scholastic, Expedia, Travel Age West, and a host of vetted, quality bloggers and freelancers
  • Industry leaders ranging from A&K to KOA. Companies big and small, such as Royal Caribbean, SeaWorld, Club Med, the U.S. National Park Service, Keystone Resorts, Kids Sea Camp, Inkaterra, Uncruise, and Thomson Family Adventures
  • Dozens of buyers: both travel agents and tour operators (Valerie Wilson Travel, Ovation, Globus, Lindblad, Scott Dunn, Trafalgar, etc.)
  • Destinations from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Anchorage, Alaska, and everywhere in between (like Costa Rica, Arizona, Montana, and Florida).  Attendees come from nations far and wide — including  Australia, Iceland, Italy, Ecuador and many more.
  • Industry service providers and other B2B vendors


  • Pre-arranged 1:1 meetings with fellow FTA members
  • Special networking events, including a private Jeep Safari in Custer State Park
  • Presentations, panel discussions and interactive workshops by FTA members and industry luminaries
  • Sponsored dinners and lunches, events at local attractions, including a closing reception and FTA Honors dinner on Wednesday, October 23rd at the iconic Mt. Rushmore



  • The Summit kicks off Monday, October 21st, so plan to arrive that morning or on Sunday, October 20th
  • The Summit concludes with a special dinner/FTA Honors Ceremony on October 23rd, so plan to depart on the 24th, or stay to enjoy more of this amazing region


The FTA Summit has become the preeminent industry event to network with family-focused suppliers, travel agents and media professionals. Learn what’s shaping family travel, meet with A-List travel media, share best practices, access both consumer and trade research, and help promote your family-focused products to the travel industry’s influencers and decision-makers.

Resort Accommodations:

We have secured the entire Custer State Park Resort for the days leading up to and including the dates of the FTA Summit. Heavily discounted FTA Summit rates are available for booking. Once you have registered for the Summit, we’ll send along a link with information about reserving your accommodations as soon as it’s available. So please be sure to register for the Summit and reserve your accommodations early to ensure you get the best available accommodations.

Call 845-689-9033
email info@familytravel.org


  • Abercrombie & Kent
  • AKontheGO
  • Amanda’s Travels
  • Asia Transpacific Journeys
  • The Atlantis
  • Austin Adventures
  • Autistic Globetrotting
  • BabyQuip
  • Big Five Tours & Expeditions
  • Black Hills & Badlands Tours
  • Book Here, Give Here
  • Bright Travel Vacations / Fresh
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Children’s Museum of South Dakota
  • Clear Creek Group
  • Coltur Peruana de Turismo SA
  • Costa Rica Holidays by il Viaggio
  • Costa Rican Vacations / Namu Travel
  • Cuba Candela
  • Discover Corps
  • Dotting The Map
  • Encore Resort at Reunion
  • Escape With Us Vacations
  • Excite Holidays
  • FamiliesGO!
  • Family Adventures Await
  • Family Dive Adventures
  • Kids Sea Camp
  • Family Travel Network
  • Aaron Schlein from Family Travel Radio
  • Family Travel with Colleen Kelly
  • FamilyTravel.com
  • Favorite Place Travel
  • Footsteps Travel LLC
  • Free Fun in Austin
  • Fun Money Mom
  • G Adventures
  • Global Family Travels
  • Globe Family Travel
  • Globetrotting Mama
  • Go Travel with Rebeka
  • Gone Again Travel & Tours
  • Have Kids Will Travel
  • Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
  • Ingalls Homestead
  • Inkaterra
  • iNSIDE Europe
  • Inspire World Travel
  • Intrepid Travel
  • Jersey Family Fun
  • Kampgrounds of America / KOA
  • Kartagener Associates Inc. (KAI)
  • Kathryn Anywhere
  • KidTripster
  • Laura Davidson PR
  • Life With A Baby
  • Little Family Adventure
  • Luggage Logistics
  • Magical Storybook Travels
  • Ment Law Group
  • Micato Safaris
  • Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mom Junky
  • Momfari
  • Na’atik Language and Culture Institute
  • Neotropic Expeditions
  • No Back Home
  • Ott’s World
  • Outdoor Families Magazine
  • PADI Americas
  • Pit Stops for Kids
  • Pura Vida Moms
  • Ranchweb.com
  • Reptile Gardens
  • Sandals/Beaches
  • Sandos Hotels & Resorts
  • Simplify, Live, Love
  • Sioux Falls CVB
  • South Dakota Department of Tourism
  • Stealth Family Travel Co
  • Student & Youth Travel Association
  • Discover Salt River
  • The Creative Stay At Home Mom
  • The Jet Set Brunette
  • The Spring Break Family
  • Thomson Family Adventures
  • Tragalgar Tours
  • Big Rock Travel
  • Travel Alberta
  • Travel Design By Ann
  • Travel Experts, LLC
  • Family Holiday Destinations
  • TravelAble
  • Trekaroo.com
  • UnCruise Adventures
  • Vacation Kids
  • Visit Finland North America
  • Visit Rapid City
  • Walking On Travels / Twist
  • Wandering Puffin LLC
  • Wyndham Destinations/TripBeat


Sponsorship delivers increased awareness, brand building, and visibility both prior to the conference as well as onsite. As a sponsor of the FTAS, you will have the unique the opportunity to reach out to a variety of individuals with your message.

Act quickly to give your organization the greatest opportunity to make an impact on the 2019 FTAS conference attendees.

We recognize that each sponsor has a unique set of marketing goals and objectives, we’re happy to put together a customized package for your consideration.

Click here to download the Sponsorship Packages PDF


Sunday, Oct 20 Delegate arrivals

2:00pm: Registration Opens – Main Lodge

2:00-5:00pm: FTA Board meeting in Reunion Lodge

3:00-5:00pm: Hike with Park Ranger – Location TBA

6:00pm: “Meet Your Match” Networking Dinner – Main Dining Room

Monday, Oct 21 7:30am: Registration Opens – Main Lodge

8:00am: Breakfast – Main Dining Room

9am-12:00noon: Pre-Summit Professional Development Workshops: We’ve created specific workshops to address the unique needs of different FTA members. Please know all of these workshops are open to and welcome all FTA members

9:00-10:00am: Travel Agent Workshop – The Barn
Moderator: Sally Black
Panelists: Rita Kelly, Trafalgar; Samantha Davies, Excite! Holidays

10am-12:00pm: Media/Supplier Workshop (agents welcome): – The Barn
Part 1: Why Podcasts Should Be a Part of Your Communications Strategy by Aaron Schlein
Part 2: Communications in a Changing Media World by Laura Davidson, LDPR
Panelists: Flora Stubbs, T+L;

12:30pm: Lunch – Main Dining Room

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Introductions & Meetings – The Barn

  • 2:00pm – 3:15pm: Attendee Introductions
  • 3:30-5:00pm: 1:1 Networking Meetings

5:30pm: Opening Reception/Dinner Hosted by South Dakota Tourism – Main Lodge

Tuesday, Oct 22 7:00am: Breakfast – Dining Room

7:30am: Opening Session: The Barn

7:30-8:00am: Welcome & FTA Introduction: Rainer Jenss

8:00-9:00am: Keynote: Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures

9:00–10:00am: Research: Peter Bopp & Dr. Lynn Minnaert, NYU

10:00-11:30am: Group A departs for Jeep Safari

10:00am–11:00am: Group B Breakout Session: How to Leverage the FTA’s Collective Influence to Create New Business Opportunities – The Barn
Moderator: Sally Black:
Panelists: Nicole Thibault, Magical Storybook Travels; Heather Mundt, Momfari; Stephanie Sheehey – Il Viaggio

12:00pm – 1:30pm: Chuckwagon Lunch – The Pavilion

2:00-3:30pm Group B departs for Jeep Safari

2pm-3:00pm: Group A Breakout Session – How to Leverage the FTA’s Collective Influence to Create New Business Opportunities – The Barn
Moderator: Richard D’Ambrosio
Panelists: Ann Frischmann, Travel Design by Ann; Mariana Watson, Coltur Peruana de Turismo SA; LiLing Pang, Trekaroo; Shellie
Bailey Shah, KidTripster

4:00pm: (coffee/break/snacks)

4:30pm–5:30pm: Keynote Panel: What Cowboys can Teach the Travel Industry
Moderator: Colleen Hodson, DRA
Panelists: Russell True, White Stallion Ranch; Gene Kilgore, Ranch Vacations International

5:30pm-6:30pm: Special Announcement: Rainer Jenss & Peter Bopp

7:00pm: Dinner – Dining Room

Wednesday, Oct 23 7:00am: Breakfast – Dining Room

8:00am – 12:00pm: General Session – The Barn

8:00-8:45am: Keynote: Dan Austin, Austin Adventures

8:45-9:30am: Panel: Creating Unique Immersive Experiences for Families
Moderator: Eileen Ogintz, Taking the Kids
Panelists: Dyan McKie – Intrepid Travel; Andrew Motiwalla, Discover Corps; Ann Lesch, Ingalls Homestead

9:30-10:15am: Panel: Building Family Bonds & Connections through Travel
Moderator: Nancy Schretter, Family Travel Network
Panelists: Amanda Dunning, GAdventures; Yolanda Brown, UnCruise; Kyle McCarthy, Family Travel Forum

10:15-10:45am: Break

10:45-11:30am: Panel: Travel: Make Learning Fun for Kids
Moderator: Aaron Schlein
Panelists: Bryan White, Celebrity Cruises; Tom White, Space Camp; Beth O’Donnell, Thomson Family Adventures

12:00- 1:00pm: Advocacy Workshop
Part 1: Speakers: Rainer Jenss Introduction; Richard D’Ambrosio; Peter Bopp

1:00– 2:00pm: Working Box Lunch in the Barn

2:00–4:00pm: Advocacy Workshop Part 2 & Presentations

4:30pm: Media depart for KOA Mt. Rushmore

5:15pm: Buses depart for Mt. Rushmore

6:30-9:30pm: FTA Honors Reception and Dinner at Mt. Rushmore

Hosted By: MSC Cruises

Thursday, Oct 24 5:00am: Breakfast to Go




Thank you to our sponsors!


Summit Hosts:
Custer State Park Resort


Presenting Sponsor:
MSC Cruises


Participating Sponsors:
KOA Go RVing


Keynote Sponsor:


Flash Drive Sponsor:


Research Sponsors:
Travel+Leisure Parents G Adventures