Travel industry partners and consumers experienced the power of the Family Travel Association (FTA) as the FTA team and many of its members attended in force at the New York Times Travel Show, Jan. 25-27.
Once again, the FTA was a key Times Show sponsor, hosting activities in a section of the trade show hall dedicated to families, while also sponsoring two panel discussions and a live podcast of Family Travel Radio.
On the travel trade day – Friday, Jan. 25 – FTA founder Rainer Jenss moderated a panel discussion about the growth and opportunities in this segment with a group of FTA member panelists including:
- Christie Holmes, C.E.O. and Co-Founder, Global CommUnity
- Andrea Khan, Chief Travel Officer, The Family Backpack
- Nancy Damianeas, Travel Advisor, Hermes Travel Corp.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, Jenss moderated a panel discussion for consumer attendees, this time offering tips for families to save “time, money and their sanity” when planning family vacations. FTA Member panelists included:
- Jamison (Jamie) Bachrach, Owner/Founder, Wandering Puffin
- Loulu Lima, Travel Adviser, Book Here Give Here
- Ron Gulaskey, A.V.P., National Account Sales and Trade Associations, Celebrity Cruises
- Michelle Lardizabal, Vice President Sales, US, ClubMed
At FTA booth over the three days were FTA Agent Members: Lima and Bachrach; Jennifer Shanks, owner of Family Adventures Await; and Nicole Thibault, Mary Ellen Nunes and Sally Black, all from Vacationkids.com. Agent members handed out business cards and acquired sales leads for their agencies, while also helping promote the FTA and its mission.
Directly next door to the FTA booth, suppliers and destinations hosted children’s activities, including Celebrity Cruises, which promoted its Camp At Sea art, recreation, culinary, and S.T.E.M. experiences for children. LEGOLAND New York was popular for their branded giveaways for children and also lent us a Lego brick building table that drew families into the FTA booth.
On stage in the Family Travel Pavilion, Family Travel Radio producer Aaron Schlein hosted a live podcast, interviewing Ross Levi from I Love New York.
“More than 550 exhibitors representing more than 170 destinations experienced the power of the FTA’s members, brand and mission,” said Jenss. “We hope to build on this success as we plan for next year’s show, and invite our members to consider attending, if they aren’t already, and get engaged with the association directly.
The FTA also organized two well-attended evening functions, including a pre-show cocktail gathering for Media Center Members that was hosted by our latest destination member, Visit Britain, as well as a members-only dinner Saturday night.