Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Hires Industry Veteran as Executive Director

Week of August 10, 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

Five FTA Spotlight Topics Are Now Open for Discussion

Six weeks ago, we launched the FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel, a 15-month editorial initiative to develop a rounded understanding of the challenges we all face today with family travel and the efforts we can make as an industry to move forward with it. The first stage of the initiative is a 12 weeks of spotlighting 12 core family travel topics to the public. Each week, we are therefore publishing an introductory essay, which will open a topic for public discussion.

The five essays now live are:

FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel

FTA Spotlight Topic 6: Traveling for Families with Special Needs

Travel increases a child's confidence, creativity and imagination, as well as reinforces academic, social and communication skills. Most children with special needs are no different: they too "learn by doing." Travel supports this type of learning. Children with special needs, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, should be afforded the same opportunities as other children to travel, see new places and enjoy enriching experiences. However, as educators of children with special needs, we have repeatedly heard from parents how difficult it was to travel with their children. Efforts at continued improvement by the travel industry will ensure that more and more families can enjoy the benefits of travel.

Read the full essay here and please share your thoughts.

FTA Spotlight: Traveling for Families with Special Needs

FTA Welcomes a New Staff Member

Chris Chesak

Chris 'Chez' Chesak

Executive Director

I'm extremely fired up! It will really be exciting to work with Rainer and his team to help continue to galvanize, strengthen and nurture this fast-growing segment of the industry. The growth potential of this segment (and of the Family Travel Association itself) is just huge and I look forward to contributing to that growth in all the ways that I'm able.

Chris 'Chez' Chesak has more than 20 years experience forging corporate partnerships, fomenting business development, and in organizational leadership.

Chez's previous work experiences include posts at outdoor associations like American Hiking Society (where he managed the National Trails Day program) and the venerable American Alpine Club, as well as a one-year deployment in Iraq with the U.S. Army National Guard. He then spent nine years helping guide the Adventure Travel Trade Association to its current position as a galvanizing force for the adventure travel industry. Chez is an avid climber, skier, backpacker and writer. He currently lives with his wife, Sally, and two daughters in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he pines for a return to the mountains.

Adventure Travel Taps into the Family Market

In this article from Travel Age West, Rainer Jenss had good things to say about how the adventure travel niche is attracting families, even multigenerational groups, and thus no longer reserved for adrenaline junkies. "Just because something is labeled as an 'adventure,' doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible," he said. He also stressed that parents may underestimate how open kids are to new places and unique experiences.

Travel Age West: Adventure Travel Taps into the Family Market

Family Travel Association Member News

Big Five Expand Its Precious Journeys™ Family Travel Programs

Big Five Tours & Expeditions has added a new 11-day Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador & Peru program to its landmark Precious Journeys™, which features family-focused adventures as an alternative to simply family-tolerant travel. Precious Journeys™, which was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal, consider a wide range of factors that impact children and family travel, from the length of flights to the timing of activities, to ensure that there is enough (but not too much) down time, and more. Each journey features experiences in one or more of these major areas: conservation of natural resources; preservation of indigenous cultures; and local community development.

Birds in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru
Conservation in Action | Galápagos

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Announces the First Annual Conservation in Action | Galápagos

On any new late-summer reservation made for travel to Galápagos, Lindblad Expeditions will donate $1,000 per person to Galápagos conservation and free airfare as part of its first, annual celebration of Galápagos conservation – Conservation in Action | Galápagos – a series of late summer departures that offer guests an enriched conservation experience. Lindblad has already raised more than $6 million to support conservation and education programs in the region through the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund.

"Many parents say their children learn more on a Galápagos expedition than you do in most classrooms. This Conservation in Action program adds an extra layer of hands-on experience with the turning-trash-into-treasures program, drawing classes in the field and the ongoing interaction with wildlife."
– Patty Disken-Cahill, Director of Communications, Lindblad Expeditions

Carnival Cruise Line Hosts Celebrity Readings of New Dr. Seuss Book

In partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Carnival Cruise Line celebrated the recent release of the late Dr. Seuss' latest book, What Pet Should I Get?, with a pair of celebrity book readings aboard ships in Tampa and New Orleans. After the reading was over, children were treated to Carnival's Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, which featured beloved Dr. Seuss characters. The event is part of Carnival's fleetwide Seuss at Sea program, which launched last year.

Carnival's Seuss-at-Sea program
Roseland Wake Park

Go Away With ... Colleen Kelly

Travel expert Colleen Kelly, host of the PBS show Family Travel with Colleen Kelly, is featured this month in the nationally syndicated "Go Away With" column written by Jae Ha-Kim. The column profiles notable people sharing recollections of their favorite destinations. Read it in the Chicago Tribune from August 9, as well as other newspapers throughout the United States.

Family Travel Industry News

City Tours Becoming More Children-Friendly

Adults might find organized city tours interesting and informative, but for children they can be yawn-inducing. Fortunately, according to this New York Times article, companies in Rome, Paris, London, New York City and even Delhi are creating interactive and entertaining versions for for hard-to-please young travelers between the ages of 6 and 12.

New York Times: City Tours Becoming More Children-Friendly

10 of the Best Activity Family Sports Holidays

Saddle up in Portugal, ride the waves in Morocco, ski the Alps in Switzerland, push the adventure limits in Oman or play tennis in the Caribbean. Those are just some of the choices in this Express article!

Express: 10 of the Best Activity Family Sports Holidays

When The Family Vacation Is Like 'The Hunger Games'

Have you fallen for those idyllic ads of families smiling their way through two weeks in Europe? Read this article in the Hartford Courant about how one family dealt with some typical (and not-so-typical) family holiday troubles. Travel can be tough. You have to learn to roll with the punches.

Movimënt Park in Northern Italy Offers Family-Friendly Adventures

The Dolomites of northern Italy have put themselves forward as the best of the mountains for all family members, with sports of all kinds, educational tours, games, multimedia and wellness facilities, all located in Movimënt, a car-free island at 2,000 meters above sea level that changes the way people think about tourism. The focus of the park is eco-sustainability, outdoor sports, and activities for kids and young people to learn while having fun.

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 Cruising Is Better Than Ever
As cruise lines scramble to provide more exciting experiences for younger cruisers and their families, here's the latest you need to know for cruising with the little ones.

8 Days in Panama With Journeys International and the Kids
Journeys International has announced a new Panama itinerary, Th’isthmus Be Panama for Families.

Kids Welcome on Un-Cruise Adventures
Un-Cruise Adventures invites children 8 and older on all itineraries with its new Family Discoveries program.
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