Family Travel Association Newsletter

With Spring Soon Sprung, So Are We!

Week of February 23, 2015

This is the newsletter of the Family Travel Association, a new coalition of leading family travel experts, media and companies coming together to create an industry voice that will transform the way families travel — charting a path for future generations of travelers.

Family Travel Association News

Expansion and refinement – that's what we're focused on these days. Reaching out to new family-travel suppliers, resources and experts, and then working with them to craft our community.

Welcome to Our Newest Board Member

The FTA Board of Advisors is an incomparable brain trust of people with deep knowledge about the travel industry as a whole, but also the family-travel space in particular. Today we welcome our newest board member.

Nancy Schretter

Nancy Schretter

Nancy is the founder and Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network and President of Beacon Group Holdings, Inc., a diversified holding company that has operated businesses in the travel and publishing fields since 1988. The Family Travel Network first launched in partnership with America Online in 1995 and has served the needs of millions of family travelers.

Family Travel Association Membership

The Family Travel Association membership base continues to expand, drawing in new associations, media outlets, destinations, tour operators, corporate entities, cruise lines, lodgings and travel specialists.

Who Are Our Newest Members?

Visit Philadelphia
Visit Philadelphia 
"As a city of firsts, Philadelphia is happy to be one of the inaugural Family Travel Association members. Our region is filled with so many wonderful experiences for families, from our historic offerings in Old City and our museum mile on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to our bountiful parks and public spaces. We look forward to sharing our family-friendly gems."
– Meryl Levitz, President and CEO, Visit Philadelphia
Family Travel Adventures
Thomson Family Adventures
"When we at Thomson Family Adventures heard that Rainer had founded the Family Travel Association we knew that we would want to get on board and join. We see great things coming from this Association."
– Jim Kackley, General Manager, Thomson Family Adventures
Capital Saratoga Region of New York
Capital Saratoga Region of New York
"The Capital Saratoga Region of New York is the perfect family getaway, so our participation as a member of the Family Travel Association was a natural. Set where the Hudson River meets the Mohawk, we're the perfect location to introduce the Erie Canal and pair it with the Children's Museum of Science & Technology. Here you can explore the famous Revolutionary War Saratoga Battlefield and then jump in one of more than 50 lakes; or find out the real story of Uncle Sam and then get lost in a corn maze on a local farm. We look forward to changing lives through travel as we work and grow with family travel."
– Michele Vennard, President/CEO, Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Family Travel Association Member News

Kids Can Now Be Certified Divers

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has approved its first Kids Sea Diver Specialty course. Developed in cooperation with Kids Sea Camp founder Margo Peyton, it is designed to make families that dive together be better dive buddies. By going through the course, a new Kids Sea Camp Diver will show mastery in diving and being a well-trained and confident part of a parent and child buddy team. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on safety, teamwork and conservation.

Family Dive Adventures

National Public Television Approves the Second Season of a Popular  Family Travel Show

Season two of Family Travel with Colleen Kelly will launch in May 2015, giving viewers an in-depth look at the adventure and family fun that awaits them at must-see destinations throughout the U.S. and abroad. The high-energy 30-minute episodes engage viewers from the start, with Kelly (often traveling with her two young daughters, who appear in the show) showcasing outdoor adventure, majestic scenery, cultural and educational activities, historical sites, dining, shopping and family attractions.

Family Travel with Colleen Kelly
Mandarin Journeys

Demystifying Family Travel in Asia

For many traveling families, Asia has sometimes been a huge mystery. In an effort to open up new opportunities in Asia through customized family holidays, Mandarin Journeys is partnering with key industry players like the TriWivesClub, a family club related to everything that includes triathlons; TravelingMom, a platform providing family travel tips for moms, by moms; and Ciao Bambino!, a luxury family travel planning website.

ArtsFamily Entertainment in the Hudson Valley

This year, Westchester County in New York's Hudson Valley is host to fantastic events for families. ArtsWestchester is celebrating its 50th anniversary with ARTSEE: A Festival of New Work, featuring more than 70 arts events at more than 40 cultural venues throughout Westchester County. Packed with dance, film, theatre, art exhibitions, concerts, conferences, open studios, poetry readings and more, this celebration of the arts will run from March through July.

Family Travel Industry News

President Obama Announces 'Every Kid in a Park'

Every Kid in a Park is a new initiative geared toward introducing America's youth and their families to public lands and waters. The national program seeks to connect four million fourth graders with these treasured places in the 2015-16 academic year, coinciding with the National Park Service Centennial celebration. The Every Kid in a Park pass – available for the 2015-2016 school year – will provide free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and more!

Family Travel by Train in Europe Is More Affordable Than Ever

Rail Europe, Inc., the largest distributor of European rail products in North America, has announced that families traveling with many of the European rail passes will have access to free rail travel for children. This offering is now available on the Eurail Pass product line, in addition to the Swiss Travel Pass, German Rail Pass and BritRail Pass, thus further extending the options for affordable family travel this year. Read here for more information.

Disney Breaks the $100 Barrier at Its U.S. Theme Parks

Walt Disney has again raised the price of its one-day tickets. At its flagship theme park, the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, the cost is now $105, up from $99, to anyone 10 years and older. Kids aged 3 to 9 pay $99. The entrance fees also increased for Disney World's other theme parks: EPCOT, the Animal Kingdom Park and Hollywood Studios. Anyone 10 and older pays $97; anyone aged 3 to 9 pays $91. However, for a limited period of time, discount tickets may still be available through contracted, licensed and officially authorized sellers.

Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through Travel Age West

As part of a new collaboration with Travel Age West, we will be sharing selected items of interest from their family travel news desk.

Okemo Mountain Resort Offers Snowmobile Tours Just for Kids
Okemo Mountain Resort, a Ludlow, VT-based ski and snowboard property, is adding a new activity to its winter lineup: snowmobile tours designed just for kids.

Tickets to Florida Attractions Now Available Online 
Florida Attractions Association, the professional industry association for Florida’s family attractions, has partnered with Reserve Direct to provide online tickets.  

Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas Now Open
AMResorts recently opened Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas. Travelers will not need a passport to visit this 297-room Caribbean resort in the family-friendly  U.S. Virgin Islands.
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