Family Travel Association Newsletter

Revving Up to a Fantastic Family Travel Summer (and Happy Father's Day)

Week of June 15, 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.

Big News About Our Family Travel Association Summit Speakers (and Engagement Plan)

As many of you know, we are holding our first annual Family Travel Association Summit from September 27-30, 2015, at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Emigrant, Montana. Our goal is to bring together travel industry experts, thought leaders, students, parents, educators and media for two days of presentations, research, interactive workshops… and, of course, horseback riding. We are proud now to announce 11 of our confirmed speakers, including globally recognized influencers from across the industry (four pictured below, clockwise from top left: Richard Wiese, Wendy Perrin, Jim Pickell and Christopher Elliott). As part of our 12-week ramp up to the Summit and a 12-month commitment to acting on what is shared, stay tuned for word of our comprehensive engagement plan.

Randy Garfield
Wendy Perrin
Christopher Elliott
Jim Pickell

Fresh on the Travel Channel: Our Type of Traveler, Rainer Jenss

In preparation for the premiere (Sunday, June 21, at 9pm ET) of their new TV show Big Crazy Family Adventure, Travel Channel wanted to get another perspective on traveling abroad with children. So who did they turn to? Our type of traveler: Rainer Jenss, Founder and President of the Family Travel Association. The interview dishes up some morsels about his life as a world traveler, how travel has become an integral part of his family's life, and what advice he would offer to families who want to expose their children to the world beyond North America.

Rainer Jenss on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Travel Age West Hosts Webinar About the Latest Trends in Family Travel… with the Family Travel Association

Scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, at 2:00pm ET, this live webinar discussion focuses on the fast-growing family travel market and delves into its latest trends with panelists from Honua Kai Resort & Spa, Palladium Hotels & Resorts and the Family Travel Association. Register here, and also gain access to the Family Travel Nexus site.

The Latest Trends in Family Travel

Rainer Jenss Makes Keynote Presentation at the Tour & Travel Exchange Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona

In early June, Rainer Jenss attended the fourth annual Tour & Travel Exchange, a boutique trade show in Scottsdale, Arizona, dedicated to long haul travel. During the three-day event, he met with approximately 90 buyers and suppliers, and presented about why families are such an important segment for them to consider when developing their products. Click here for an abbreviated version of the presentation.

"The concept and direction of FTA was very well received by all of the delegates, including tourism boards, safari lodges, hotels, tour operators and more."
– Henry Kartagener, FTA board member and President of Kartagener Associates, Inc., which organizes the conference

Tour & Travel Exchange

Eileen Ognitz Talks to The New York Times About Nearly 20 Years of "Taking the Kids"

Family travel blogs may be ubiquitous today, but the subject of family travel was relatively virgin terrain when the journalist Eileen Ogintz, author of the now-syndicated "Taking the Kids" column (and also an FTA board member), took her first assignment on the subject in 1987. She recently talked with The New York Times about the risks and rewards of family travel.

Family Travel Association & Africa Travel Association Partner to Support Family Travel to Africa

Under a partnership agreement, FTA and ATA will share reciprocal membership, advocate for Africa as a family friendly travel destination, and showcase Africa's diverse family travel products, services, cultural and natural attractions, and potential. The two associations will also collaborate on "The Guide to Planning Family Travels in Africa," an essential guide for the travel industry and consumers interested in traveling to the continent.

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?

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
"For generations, families have made The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel their home on Hawaii's Big Island. Keiki (children) who grow up playing in the sand at Kauna'oa Beach return with their children and grandchildren, and lifetime friendships sometimes start here, inspired by the special setting, set apart from the outside world."
– Darla Won, Director of Marketing, The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Un-Cruise Adventures
Un-Cruise Adventures
"More families are choosing to bring the kids on our 22- to 88-guest small ship adventure cruises. A week in the wilderness, unplugged, hiking, kayaking and exploring nature is eye-opening, educational and a compelling experience they won’t forget. We joined the Family Travel Association to encourage families to travel together in small group comfort where wildlife is the star attraction. Take the kids. Have an adventure."
– Tim Jacox, Principal & Executive Vice President, Un-Cruise Adventures

Family Travel Association Member News

Lindblad Expeditions and Thompson Family Adventures Make Travel + Leisure List of Extraordinary Family Vacations

Travel + Leisure has compiled a list for parents seeking extraordinary family vacations and properties with thoughtful perks and culturally rich activities. Two of our FTA members made the cut: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (trip #20) for its new immersive land and sea adventure in Iceland led by the company's namesake, Sven Lindblad; and Thompson Family Adventures for its new trip in Alaska (trip #15), which splits a stay between downtown Juneau and a ship, and includes many activities guided by locals.


Hawks Cay Embraces Initiatives Aimed at People with Autism

Motivated by a desire to meet the needs of families and groups that include someone with autism, Hawks Cay has worked with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) to train its resort staff in meeting special needs. In addition, it now offers complimentary "Social Stories," a pre-arrival amenity to help prepare autistic guests. These stories explain a stay at the resort through the eyes of someone with autism. Also, this April 2, the resort participated in World Autism Awareness Day, started in 2007 by the United Nations as a way to "shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis." On that day, as part of Light It Up Blue – an international campaign bringing together thousands of landmarks, businesses and homes that shine blue lights to show their support for those affected by autism – Hawks Cay’s front entrance was illuminated in blue, the staff dressed in blue, and the resort gave out 1,000 blue glow necklaces for $1 donations each to raise $1,000 for Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Hawks Cay - World Autism Awareness Day

Carnival Launches New Brand Focused on 'Social-Impact Travel'

Carnival Corp. has announced the launch of a new cruise brand that will take guests to foreign countries to do cooperative social projects. Called fathom, its first destination will be the Dominican Republic in 2016. While it will initially use a 710-passenger ship, Carnival said it will not be a cruise company in the traditional sense. Instead it will transport people eager help teach English, work on reforestation or water purification projects, or help a women’s cooperative harvest cocoa. It aims to capture the attention of travelers  including families – that would otherwise not go on a cruise.

KidZooU and Zoo360 Bring Conservation Education to a New High at the Philadelphia Zoo

In 2012, the Philadelphia Zoo implemented a campus-wide transformation plan and made a commitment to conservation education work. This plan is solidly underway with KidZooU: Hamilton Family Zoo and Faris Family Education Center; a multi-phase, zoo-wide, animal travel and exploration system now known as Zoo360; and a series of conservation education activities. Recently, in May, Zoo360 opened Gorilla Treeway (pictured below), a trail for use by gorillas and great apes that, like other segments of Zoo360 (the Treetop Trail, Big Cat Crossing and the Great Ape Trail), allows the animals to roam beyond their traditional exhibit spaces, and creates a new level of interaction with guests.

Philadelphia Zoo Gorilla Treeway

HomeAway Launches Cities Initiative and Partners with Dubai Tourism

HomeAway, the world leader in vacation rentals, is launching a new Cities Initiative with a homepage featuring top emerging cities exhibiting high demand from families and groups for whole-house rentals. These pages will include vacation home listings, live integrations with Uber and Instacart, and online HomeAway City Guides powered by Gogobot, but created by fellow travelers and HomeAway vacation rental owners. HomeAway has also announced a partnership with Dubai Tourism, the first of its kind for the vacation rental industry, to promote Dubai’s vacation homes and Dubai as a destination, an ideal place for families to visit because of the beautiful beaches and numerous family-friendly attractions.

Family Travel Industry News

Majority of Americans Will Take Little to No Vacation This Summer

"America is stuck in a no-vacation land." That's how this Skift article begins before declaring that 62 percent of Americans it surveyed said they won't be taking a vacation this summer at all. In a finer breakdown, however, is this tidbit: "Parents and their families are still trying to take a lot more summer vacations than the non-parents, according to our survey data." We asked a couple of our members for feedback and here is what they said:

Majority of Americans Will Take Little to No Vacation This Summer
"Dealing only with families, we haven't seen a decline in summer travel at all. In fact, we've seen an increase in families wanting to travel during this time. We believe this is happening because the dollar has been getting stronger in the global market and families are taking more educational driven trips to safe destinations such as Peru and the Galapagos."
– Jim Kackley, General Manager, Thomson Family Adventures

"Parents with children under 18 at home are significantly more interested in vacationing during summer than travelers without kids, according to the 2015 Portrait of American Travelers by MMGY Global. 77 percent of parents with children at home intend to take at least one summer vacation during the next twelve months, compared to only 66 percent of travelers without. Seeing as 85 percent of parents vacation with their children, kids are clearly involved in the summer vacations these parents are planning for 2015."
– Anna Blount, Market Research Manager at MMGY Global

Lonely Planet's Best Places for Family Holidays in Europe 2015

This list was only just released and it sure is an eclectic collection, curiously placing far greater emphasis on the north of the continent than the south.

Study Reveals 10 Most Playful Cities for Families

In a Quaker Chewy's study conducted by Sperling's Best Places, 50 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. were analyzed using factors correlated with family fun and play time. The result is quite surprising, as much by the cities included as by those omitted. (None in New England? Really?)

How Hotels Around the World are Reaching Out to Families

With family travel rated high on the list of growing types of travel, this is an interesting sample of a few international properties that are making mom, pop, buddy and sis feel at home this year.

Attendance Growth Booming at Florida's Theme Parks

New figures show that five Florida theme parks rank in the top 25 worldwide in attendance and that only two of the state's parks failed to record an increase in attendance last year. Wow.

BBC Offers a Chance to Win a Family Reunion Holiday and a Cash Jackpot

The National Lottery: 5 Star Family Reunion is a game show where eight family members play across the globe in a series of general knowledge rounds in an attempt to win a family reunion holiday and a cash jackpot. Four family members must be UK based while four family members live overseas. Hurry, applications are due by June 22!

Young Minds Have a New Place to Grow in San Antonio, Texas

This month saw the opening of The DoSeum, San Antonio's new museum for kids. With world-class exhibits and sustainable, thoughtful architecture, it is expected to attract over 400,000 visitors annually.

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.

Learn About Dolphins with the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project
Kids of all ages help researchers catalog dolphins as part of a study of bottlenose dolphins in Southwest Florida.

Plan Vacations with Help from Historic Hotels of America
Historic Hotels of America has launched a new "American Dreams" website to help travel agents and travelers find different vacation ideas, including family vacations.

St. Regis Deer Valley Teams Up with HarperCollins Children's Books
Young guests can now read popular children's titles during apres ski as part of the luxury hotel's signature Family Traditions program.
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