Family Travel Association Newsletter

Traveling Families Love Camping, Among Other Things 

Week of March 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

The FTA has assembled a remarkable family-travel brain trust to guide our development – advisors on our board and other councillors, members and partners with many years of travel thought-leadership. Over the coming weeks and months, we will share a bounty of wisdom from their decades of advocacy for and hands-on practice in family travel.

FTA Board Member and Family Travel Forum Editor Kyle McCarthy Examines the Parenting of Everything

Following our inaugural piece by Keith Bellows, Emeritus Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Travel, this week the spotlight turns to Kyle McCarthy, Member of the FTA Board and Editor of Family Travel Forum, as she examines the parenting of everything.

FTA Participates in Kampgrounds of America Event Highlighting Groundbreaking North American Camping Report

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) unveiled the 2015 North American Camping Report to a select group of media on March 18 in New York City. The ‘Camping in the City’ event featured a panel discussion of thought leaders, including Jim Rogers, CEO of KOA; Sascha Segan, lead mobile analyst for; and Dr. Robyn Silverman, a widely published child and teen development specialist. The panel was moderated by Rainer Jenss, our president and founder.

KOA 'Camping in the City' panel discussion

FTA Welcomes New Staff Member

Sarah Fazendin

Sarah Fazendin

Director of Memberships

I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting family travel movement and helping formalize the transformative power of travel for families. Family travel has countless benefits, particularly the educational development of a new generation of global-minded citizens. But parents have just as much to gain by investing in family travel experiences. At home, it is very easy to get caught up in our daily schedules. Traveling together has given my family a rare opportunity to live in the moment. This precious time together is the greatest reward, and I look forward to helping more families experience it!

For 15 years, Sarah Fazendin has been helping travel brands and destinations thrive. During her time as a travel marketer, she was recognized by PhoCusWright as one of the travel industry’s Young Leaders and awarded an HSMAI Advertising award for her work with the Kenya Tourist Board. She manages A Week at the Beach, the influential family travel blog with a mission to inspire busy moms to make more time for travel.

Family Travel Association Member News

KOA's 2015 North American Camping Report Shows Greater Diversity of Campers and Preference for Free Wifi Spurs Modern Camping

The percentage of Hispanic, Asian-American and African-American campers across North America has doubled since 2012, and more campers today prioritize access to free wifi over traditional camping amenities, such as access to cabins or recreational activities, according to the brand new 2015 North American Camping Report, an independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA).

Young people prioritize free wifi over traditional camping amenities

Real Monthly Stats Provide an Inside Look at What Consumers Want in Cruise Vacations

Cruise Trends™, a service of, the premier online cruise marketplace, mines a wealth of data to give you what's hot among consumers, including the top ships, lines and travel dates for premium, luxury, and river cruising. 

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends

Travel Expert and TV Host Colleen Kelly Partners with Carnival Cruise Lines on Video Series

Now live on YouTube, Colleen Kelly, host of Family Travel with Colleen Kelly (which airs on public television in 93% of the U.S.) responds to users' favorite topics and helps them experience the ease and adventure of a Carnival cruise.

Colleen Kelly Carnival Cruise screenshot

Family Travel Industry News

Among America’s Millennials Who Travel, Half Have Spouses and Children

One thing that’s rarely noted about Millennials is that half of them are now married with children. This should matter to anyone marketing to them. Rather than acting like kids, Millennials are, as often as not, raising kids. Also of interest: compared to all travelers, millennial travelers – with and without families – are much more likely to use owner-direct accommodation services, such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Read details and tidbits here.

"While I am sure that there may be a greater likelihood of millennial travelers potentially using owner-direct accommodation services as compared to other travelers, my personal viewpoint is that the nature of full-service offerings, overall hotel and resort features and programming, and local geography and attractions, combined with the recognition of elite-level status in brand loyalty programs will ultimately still be the key decision-making influences for this specific segment, as opposed to just the nature of the accommodation."
– Alan Bednowitz, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing/Resorts & Asset Management, Pyramid Hotel Group

Arabian Travel Market 2015 Focuses on Family Travel

The spotlight theme for Arabian Travel Market 2015 is family travel. While specific speakers and topics have yet to be announced, dedicated panel-led seminar sessions will addressing how Gulf destinations can boost their appeal to the family tourism market and develop family-specific amenities and emphasize experience over expense.

Majority of Americans Think National Parks Are Best Setting for Family Vacations 

Hilton Worldwide conducted a survey to see who plans to take advantage of the great outdoors and uncovered the following:
* Camping's not for everyone. Nearly 60% said they would be more interested in vacationing at a national park if they were able to stay at a hotel. 
* West Coast respondents appear to be most keen on planning visits to national parks in the next year, with 22% expressing interest versus the Northeast (18%), Midwest (13%) and South (12%).
* Grand Canyon National Park (75%) is the park of choice, followed by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (58%), Grand Teton National Park (33%), Glacier National Park (29%) and Zion National Park (18%).

Family Spells Happiness in Fiji 

A recent article has highlighted Fiji's long-held strategy of promoting the country's strongest niches in the U.S. (romance and diving) and hopes to push harder on the family market, which for now, comes largely from Australia and New Zealand. A host of family resorts offers a wide variety of service levels and price points.

Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through Travel Age West

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

Family Getaways Takes Over #TWChats in April
Chat with the team behind Family Getaways about family travel trends on April 15. The Family Travel Association will also be co-hosts of this chat.

ASTA Reveals Most Booked and Most Exciting Summer Destinations
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has released a list of the top destinations for summer 2015. Orlando, Las Vegas, London, Italy and South Africa are the big winners.

Food Tourism with Experiential Focus Still on the Rise
A report released by Skift shows that the industry has responded to the enthusiasm of foodies by developing relationships with influencers of local gastronomy.

Fun Family Travel Fact

Recent research reveals that family-centric travel accounted for more than 12.5% of the $1.07 trillion global tourism market. Need help with the math? That's more than $125 billion! (Source: Arabian Travel Market 2015)
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