Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Eyes Partnerships, Media and Action in 2016  

Week of November 30, 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 Partners with Scholastic on a Smart Family Travel Vacation Guide – Advertisers Sought!

FTA Advantages
The Family Travel Association is partnering with Scholastic to co-produce a custom publication that focuses on where to go, what to do, and the benefits of traveling with kids. One million copies will be mailed in late March 2016 to classrooms with editions of Scholastic News. Materials will also be distributed to parents through the influential Backpack Channel. Digital versions will be hosted on and See more information if you're interested in advertising in this publication.

FTA’s Consumer Panel Fall Survey Early Results Are In

FTA Consumer Panel
Preliminary results from the Family Travel Association’s Consumer Panel Fall Survey show robust plans for family travel during this year's school vacations. A majority of panel respondents reported having plans for a family trip during the Year End Holidays, Spring Break and next summer. Popular travel destinations include visiting family or friends, visiting warm-weather destinations, theme parks and winter activities destinations. For detailed survey results, please click here.

FTA Begins Rollout of Consumer-Facing Newsletter

Last Thursday, we pushed out the first of our planned monthly consumer-facing newsletters, each one centered around one single issue. The topic of this first edition was Family Safari in Africa. Stay tuned in the months ahead for a wide range of topics, most of them anchored around our unfolding FTA Spotlight editorial campaign.

Family Safari in Africa
Matt Villano and Baby G

Congrats to Matt Villano and Baby G!

We warmly congratulate FTA Advisory Board Member Matt Villano on the birth of his newest family member, Baby G, a beautiful daughter (his third). Proud poppa that he is, he penned a touching letter to his daughter that, among other wise things, extols the virtue of family travel as "a way of being"!

Experiential Travel: A Ticket to Fond Memories

An airline ticket can be a passport to learning a language, indulging in a hobby, polishing a skill or understanding a culture — and people who give a trip with a theme can make a getaway gift particularly memorable. This International New York Times article quotes our editorial director, Ethan Gelber, about the virtues of experiential multigenerational family travel.

The International New York Times: A Ticket to Fond Memories

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 Is Our Newest Member?

Mall of America
Mall of America
"As the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the Western Hemisphere and the most visited attraction in the U.S. according to TIME, we’re excited to collaborate with agencies and media whose goal is to promote and enable families to travel more frequently. We have worked hard to make the Mall as accessible and affordable as possible, but to get bodies in the doors, we first need to get them out of the house. We look forward to contributing to this key effort."
– Leif Pettersen, Tourism Communications Manager, Mall of America

Family Travel Association Member News

Trekaroo Helps Families Respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

There are many causes out there, so why get behind this one by Trekaroo? For one, it’s a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. About 12 million people have been affected, one-third of whom are children. Today, there are families who have been sleeping on the streets for over a year with no end in sight. If you are able to show support for them, please act by December 31 and take advantage of the generosity of others, like the matching or donation programs of Amazon, Expedia and USAID.

Trekaroo Helps Families Respond to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

5 Extraordinary Dude Ranches for Families

There’s one vacation category where extraordinary families can simply park the car, unpack their bags and settle in for a week of jam-packed action. It’s the Western dude ranch! Here are five fantastic dude ranches for families, where you're in it for the riding, as well as the active, outdoor, multi-sport fun. Included in the mix: our good friends at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.

5 Extraordinary Dude Ranches for Families

Four Things You Don’t Want to Miss from SeaWorld’s 2015 Investor & Analyst Day

At this year’s Investor/Analyst Day, SeaWorld President and CEO Joel Manby shared his vision for the company's future. He outlined the mission of creating Experiences that Matter, through events and attractions that are both fun and meaningful. He described how the unique connections between humans and animals can touch hearts and inspire people to care and do more. He emphasized SeaWorld’s goal to motivate people to join in our efforts to help protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.

Four Things You Don’t Want to Miss from SeaWorld’s 2015 Investor & Analyst Day

South Dakota and Royal Caribbean International Grace the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The weather was perfect, the crowds came out in abundance and the worldwide audience was as enthusiastic as ever at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Such ideal conditions meant the FTA Members with floats in the parade made a real splash. Congrats to South Dakota and Royal Caribbean International.

South Dakota float the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
Royal Caribbean International float the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

Family Travel Industry News

Central America is a Family Vacation Paradise

The Caribbean and Mexico are always obvious choices when considering a family vacation south of the border, but expanding your horizons beyond these more popular destinations and into Central America could lead to an unexpected adventure. In this less-peopled region, which includes FTA Member Costa Rica, discover exotic animals and lush flora and fauna in the jungles and on the beaches of these Central America resorts.

Central America is a Family Vacation Paradise

Family-Friendly Activities in Sin City

It might surprise you to learn that there are almost as many fun activities for families in Las Vegas as there are fun things to do for adults. You can use Las Vegas hotels as a jumping-off point for outdoor adventures, but even within the city limits, Sin City has a surprising number of attractions that will wow kids and adults alike.

Family-Friendly Activities in Sin City

8 Christmas-Themed Railroad Excursions Rolling This Holiday Season

The rail industry is celebrating the Christmas season with the mirth and merriment it deserves. Here is TravelPulse's brief but beautiful breakdown of holiday rail excursions departing over the next month that will leave families in a jolly good mood.

8 Christmas-Themed Railroad Excursions Rolling This Holiday Season
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.

5 Essential Tips for Family Holiday Travel
Travel Leaders agent Jaime Femreite shares important pointers for surviving holiday travel.

Expedia's HomeAway Wants Travel Agent Business, Too
HomeAway’s vice president explains how agents can navigate its million-plus listings.

'Star Wars' Takes Over Disneyland's Tomorrowland
Running until end of May 2016, Season of the Force has arrived at Disneyland Resort’s Tomorrowland.
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