Family Travel Association Newsletter

Let's Work Together to Re/Define Family Travel

Week of June 29, 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

FTA Announces Major 15-Month Editorial Initiative

At the end of September this year, the Family Travel Association is hosting its first annual Summit at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana. Over the course of two full days, an assembly of industry executives and family travel experts will expand upon topics essential to a rounded understanding of the challenges we face today with family travel and the efforts we can make as an industry to move forward with it. In anticipation of that, we will count down the 12 weeks leading up to the Summit by spotlighting 12 core family travel topics to the public. Each week, we will publish an introductory essay (the first one revealed directly below), which will open it up for public discussion. Following the Summit, we will initiate a 12-month process of digging much deeper into each of these topics, one per month. By the time we gather for the next Family Travel Association Summit in September 2016, we expect to have a much more powerful grasp of what's at play in family travel.

FTA Spotlight Topic 1: The Changing Faces of Family Travel

Open most newspapers, magazines and brochures, and the majority of articles or ads targeting families still features a mother, father and their two children. In travel promotions, they're smilingly and ably cavorting on a beach or admiring a recognizable attraction. But who really clings to the notion that this is the way things are today? asks our editorial director, Ethan Gelber. What about the multi-generational family groups, extended and "blended" clans, and households with a single parent, two dads or two moms, a mix of races and cultures, special needs or "voluntary kin"? Or any combinations of the above? Where and how can all kinds of families find what they need to facilitate their travel desires and feel welcome wherever they go?

We are very keen to learn what you think of the changing faces of traveling families, so please share your thoughts.

Writer Paul J. Heney, left, and his partner and children meet Mickey Mouse. Photo courtesy of Paul J. Heney

FTA Takes Part in Webinar About Major Trends in Family Travel

In association with the Travel Age West Family Travel Nexus Web platform, Rainer Jenss, our president and founder, took part in a one-hour discussion about the latest trends in family travel that also featured Maryanne Lopez, mainland sales manager of Honua Kai Resort & Spa Kaanapali Beach, and Tom Abbott, business development manager, South Central Region of Palladium Hotel Group. Click here for a great summary of the nine major trends they identified or check out the webinar itself.

Webinar about Major Trends in Family Travel

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?

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
"At the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar we pride ourselves on being a true family-friendly resort destination. As such, we found it pertinent to align ourselves with The Family Travel Association – an organization that understands traveling families and their unique needs, while highlighting destinations like ours."
– Sharlene Brenkus, Director of Sales & Marketing, Wyndham Grand Rio Mar
"No one deserves the enlightenment and wonder of a vacation more than the family. And at no time is there a greater need to make the vacation easy. That combination is what Monograms and the entire Globus family is all about, and the Family Travel Association is a natural fit for us, as they share our cause. We're wholeheartedly behind their efforts to help get families traveling and to make it as easy and enjoyable as it can be."
– Steve Born, VP Marketing, Globus
Aardvark Safaris
Aardvark Safaris
"When it was set up over 15 years ago, Aardvark Safaris was one of the first safari companies to advocate family travel. Time and again, we've seen firsthand how travel transforms the lives and outlooks of children – building confidence, broadening minds and cementing bonds. Nothing really beats visiting a place, meeting the people. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to join the Family Travel Association and look forward to doing our bit to help even more families experience the joy of travel."
– John Spense, President, Aardvark Safaris

Family Travel Association Member News

HomeAway and Kid President Ask Kids to Share Their Vacation Dreams

As part of its excellent new Kids Rule Vacation Photo Contest, HomeAway has enlisted the help of Kid President (the tiny prez who believes that kids have voices worth being heard) to ask kids about what their number vacation rule would be if they called the shots. In his fun new video, Kid President tells us that he doesn't want any more vague-cations or fake-vacations, just #wholevacations with the parents' full attention. We encourage everyone to share word of this contest, open to entries from June 29 to July 26. The grand prize is pretty grand.

Kid President speaks about HomeAway Kids Rule Vacation Photo Contest

New #VisitPhilly Photo Spots Promotion Encourages Families to Snap and Share Philly Photos

Sharing family holiday pictures on social media is now a right of passage for family vacationers. Visit Philadelphia has turned it into a way to engage with locals and visitors throughout the busiest season of the year, all while social families can be seen like never before. XOXO now literally marks the spot in Philadelphia thanks to six fun #visitphilly Photo Spots in the city. From June 11 through September 30, 2015, locals and visitors are encouraged to snap photos with these structures, tag them #visitphilly and share them on social media.

"This project puts consumer-generated content about Philadelphia on social media in a big way. It allows us to engage in conversations with our fans, encouraging them to see and do more while they're here. And it shows off Philadelphia to our visitors' friends and families – people who may just be persuaded to visit Philadelphia thanks to this influential word-of-mouth marketing."
– Meryl Levitz, President and CEO, Visit Philadelphia

#visitphilly Photo Spots

Families in Love with New York City Now Have a Way to Reach New York State

The Empire State Development Corporation's Department of Tourism, which operates the I Love New York program, has launched the I LOVE NEW YORK BUS program, an initiative to provide easy, affordable and comfortable transportation year-round from New York City to the rest of New York State’s most popular one- and two-day getaway experiences, including family-friendly festivals and seasonal activities.


Discovery Cove Celebrates 15 Years

This summer, Discovery Cove® in Orlando celebrates its 15th anniversary since its grand opening on July 1, 2000. Once an anomaly in the world of Orlando theme parks – a reservation-only experience limited to approximately 1,000 guests per day – Discovery Cove had been rated the "#1 Amusement Park in the World" in the TripAdvisor® Travelers Choice™ awards by 2013 (and again in 2014). Park fans are encouraged to share photos of their favorite memories using #15YearsofDiscovery.

At Discovery Cove

Family Travel Industry News

Focus on LGBT Travel: Family Travel

A recent LGBT tourism and hospitality survey, published in December 2014, found that 15% of women and 4% of men in the study had children under 18 years old in their households. The vast majority (96%) of these LGBT families had three or fewer children, and by a two-to-one margin, they focused on looking for family-friendly destinations over gay-friendly destinations. Convention and visitor bureaus are taking notice of the trend and this comprehensive article in Travel Weekly covers a lot of ground in explaining how.

Focus on LGBT Travel: Family Travel

10 Myths of Family Travel Debunked

Outside magazine's interview with the parent-stars of the new television show, Big Crazy Family Adventure, reveals how to roam with children without going insane.

ABTA Magazine Runs a Holland Family Travel Special

When planning for a family holiday, most people consider the usual destinations. So why not try somewhere new, says ABTA Magazine? Holland may not be the most obvious of choices, but this Family Travel Special sets out to change that, uncovering the best the destination has to offer both adults and their children.

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.

The Rising Babymoon
Travel agents report on the booming babymoon market and how to cater to expectant parents.

Family Adventures in Central Oregon
Central Oregon’s river excursions, lava field hikes and more entertain active families.

4 Outdoorsy Family Vacation Ideas
Kayak trips, fly-fishing lessons and more draw families to these four summer vacation spots.
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