Family Travel Association Newsletter

The Inaugural Family Travel Association Summit Is SOLD OUT

Week of September 7, 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

Remembering Keith Bellows, Our Inspiration and Friend

Nearly two weeks ago, we shared in the outpouring of grief and remembrance after the untimely passing of Keith Bellows, our director of consumer engagement. Although he had only just begun to ramp up his efforts with us, for 17 years before that, he was an award-winning editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler. The impression he left on us was far, far greater than the short time during which his vision, passion, insight and energy helped guide our still-young endeavors. We had planned for a long journey with him, so, as we know he would have wanted, we travel on, our hearts made heavy by his absence, but our resolve buoyed by his example.

Keith Bellows
FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel

Nine FTA Spotlight Topics Search for Solutions

Two months 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.

Nine essays now live are:

FTA Spotlight Topic 10: The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Family Travel

"Sharing" has increased opportunities to travel but also the demand for travel itself, especially among families. After all, the Sharing Economy has allowed families to travel more efficiently, comfortably, cost-effectively and socially. Whether you buy into the merits of the Sharing Economy or view it as hype, the new choices it's creating are being embraced by consumers and will continue to push family travel forward.

Read the full essay here and please share your thoughts.

FTA Spotlight: The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Family Travel

Family Travel Association Summit Is Ready to Roll

Family Travel Association Summit
With all of its speakers in place (see a selection below) and sold-out attendance, the first Family Travel Association Summit is primed and ready for September 27-30 at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Emigrant, Montana. As the first event of its kind, the FTA Summit brings together family travel experts, industry leaders, FTA members and the media for two days of inspiring presentations, enlightening research, interactive panels... and horseback riding. The Summit’s goal is to advance our understanding of the important issues surrounding family travel through the input of a distinguished group of speakers. Stay tuned for more information, both live from the Summit and in the months to follow!
Bonnie Levengood
Margo Peyton
Sarah Gavin
Just some of our speakers include, clockwise from top left, Bonnie Levengood of MSC Cruises, Margo Peyton of Kids Sea Camp, Sarah Gavin of Expedia and Sarah Liaram of Abercrombie & Kent/Sanctuary Retreats.

Get Ready for Grandparents Day - Sunday, September 13. Why Not Take a Trip?

Grandparents Day is the annual special day of recognition for grandparents. And, as our editorial director Ethan Gelber reminds us, it's a great day on which to think about How Multigenerational Travel Helps Families Connect. We encourage you to take a moment this weekend and reach out to or remember the older generations who, as President Obama said last year, share "in some of life's most cherished memories, from small moments to personal milestones."

How Multigenerational Travel Helps Families Connect

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?

Say Hueque - Argentina Adventures
Say Hueque - Argentina Adventures
"We know that traveling open our eyes and that lives can be changed by a new encounter with a different culture or an outstandingly beautiful landscape. Being local operators, we see, breathe and palpate the incredible potential of the Argentine territory for family trips of all ages – because of the amazing and beautiful landscapes, the family-orientated culture, the free and diverse fauna, the magnificent food and many other conditions - and we want to share this with the entire world, learning together how to enrich our minds and experiences."
– Carolina Cutrin, Destination Host, Say Hueque
Montana Office of Tourism
Montana Office of Tourism
"The Montana Office of Tourism is proud to become a member of the Family Travel Association and use this partnership to help enhance and increase awareness of family travel in Montana. Our state provides the ideal backdrop for families to reconnect with the outdoors and with each other."
– Donnie Sexton, Media Relations, Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development
Rome McGuigan, P.C.
Rome McGuigan, P.C., Attorneys at Law
"I am excited to be one of the Family Travel Association's newest members. Family travel gives our children and their families a great opportunity to form lasting memories, as well as learn what the world has to offer. I hope that I am able to share ideas and collaborate with others interested in this vibrant, dynamic market."
– Jeffrey L. Ment, Partner, Rome McGuigan, P.C.

Family Travel Association Member News

Family Travel in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Mount Rushmore is certainly a must-see when visiting South Dakota’s Black Hills region, but the area offers plenty more awe-inspiring views for families. Black Hills has everything from incredible parks — such as Custer State Park and Badlands National Park, which boasts a junior paleontologist program — to Ghost Canyon Ranch, a dude ranch that opened to overnight guests in April.

Family Travel in the Black Hills of South Dakota
AFAR Swiss Booking Challenge

Calling all Travel Advisors! Win Two Business Class Tickets on SWISS!

AFAR wants to reward you for booking your clients on trips to Switzerland. In partnership with Switzerland Tourism, AFAR is giving travel advisors a chance to win prizes, such as two business-class tickets on SWISS, $1000 Amex gift cards, Victorinox watches and gift baskets. Book as many trips to Switzerland as possible and enter again and again - each night booked is a separate entry. The challenge runs from July 1 to October 15, 2015.

Rally, Weather Help South Dakota Tourism Rev Along in 2015

The South Dakota tourism industry is surging this year, spurred on by good weather, low gas prices and landmark events. Expectations for 2015 have been high because of key events. Across the state, businesses and officials say it's shaping up to be a big year for tourism, a pillar industry that brought in an estimated $2 billion to South Dakota's economy last year.

Mt Rushmore, South Dakota

Big Five Tours & Expeditions Announces New Precious Journeys Family Adventure in Guatemala

Some of the family-friendly experiences included on Guatemala’s Jungles, Jaguars & Peanut Butter are private workshops about making chocolate and peanut butter; a hike up an active volcano, where you actually melt marshmallows over a stemming volcanic vent and make s’mores; a jaguar footprint scavenger hunt; and classic fun like ziplining, a jungle safari, horseback riding and exploring the fabled Tikal Mayan city.


Family Travel Industry News

Parents Sue American Airlines and Passenger Over Alleged Inappropriate Touching Incident

This incident is every parent's worst fear and part of the ongoing debate about whether airlines care enough about families and children. Although the alleged victim in this case, a teenage girl, was flying alone, the underlying concern is one voiced often by parents regarding airlines not guaranteeing children seating with their parents without payment of seat reservation fees.

American Airlines

7 Budget Family Travel Destinations That Are Surprisingly Awesome

When visiting popular family travel destinations, parents know exactly what they're getting for their vacation dollar. After all, many US beach towns, theme parks, resorts, and city stays have a reputation that warrants a high price tag. But well-known locales are not the only destinations worthy of your family vacation. Think outside the box, and you'll find off-the-radar choices that wow without breaking the bank. Here are seven of them.

Huffington Post: 7 Budget Family Travel Destinations That Are Surprisingly Awesome

Is This the Coolest Theme Park Ever? In Dubai!

Visiting a theme park can be an unforgettable experience, but few thrillseekers have seen anything as incredible as the IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor amusement park in Dubai. Scheduled to open later this year, the 1.5 million square-foot facility will take the crown as the world’s largest indoor theme park. According to this TravePulse article, the park will be broken into four separate zones, including Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley-Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

How to Appeal to High-Spending Families Who Travel

World Travel Market London 2015, the leading global event for the travel industry, has linked up with Worldwide Kids Company to host a seminar giving hotels and resorts detailed advice on how to appeal to high-spending families. The session will share best-practice examples of how to deliver an exceptional family holiday experience. Case studies will highlight how investment in the luxury family product can generate significantly higher revenues for hotels and resorts.

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.

Survival Guide: How to Visit Yellowstone with the Family
Tips and tricks for a fun family adventure in Yellowstone National Park.

Things to Do in Anaheim Besides Disneyland
In the heart of Southern California, Anaheim is the perfect spot for a family vacation.

Disney to Build Star Wars Lands
'Star Wars'-themed lands will come to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.
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