Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Finishes Up 2015 with a Bang

Week of December 14, 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 Attends U.S. Tour Operators Association Annual Conference and Marketplace

FTA Founder and President Rainer Jenss was one of several hundred delegates who attended the U.S. Tour Operators Association Annual Conference and Marketplace in Chicago from December 3 to 5. Dedicated to “breaking down borders,” the show brought together top tour operators, travel media and buyers from around the world, including several FTA members, such as Abercrombie & Kent, Austin Adventures, Globus Family of Brands and Intrepid.
U.S. Tour Operators Association
Of note: in the USTOA’s recently released results of its annual travel trend and forecast survey of the association’s active tour operator members, the most popular travel categories for passengers were identified as art and culture, honeymoon and romance, and family.

Morgan Bruemmer of The Clear Creek Group Joins FTA Advisory Board

Morgan Bruemmer
The FTA has continued the expansion of its Board of Advisors by welcoming Morgan Bruemmer, Founding Partner of The Clear Creek Group, a luxury villa rental firm and real estate brokerage in Jackson, Wyoming. After managing a boutique wine wholesale company in Atlanta and some other adventures, Bruemmer pursued luxury villa rentals in Jackson Hole in 2002. Residing in Teton Village with his wife, Amanda, Morgan enjoys cooking, wine, travel and fly-fishing.

FTA Spotlight to Kick into Gear in 2016

In January 2016, we launch the next step of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Center, a year-long, multi-pronged editorial initiative designed to define and refine our understanding of the most pressing issues in family travel. Through deep review of 12 core topics, our objective is to identify the best content on each topic; noteworthy content creators (writers, photographers, videographers etc.) specializing in the topics; industry leaders (individuals, companies, associations and media) with deep understanding of the topics; and best practices (and best practitioners), policy and law related to the topics.

FTA Spotlight

The process involves targeted outreach to our members, industry leaders, associations and the media members to generate a rich and comprehensive resource base of information/content on each topic that is useful to both the industry and consumers. This content will then be aggressively distributed through participating members and partners.

Take a look at our overview of the project and let us know if you would like to be part of it.

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?

Latin Trails / Galapagos Journey Cruises
"PADI is excited to become a member of the Family Travel Association. Travel and scuba diving are great ways to bring families together for unique, shared experiences. As divers and travelers, we remember our first trip overseas or glimpse of the underwater world, but we also treasure who was there with us for those magical moments. PADI celebrates 50 years in diving in 2016 and has flexible options for families to start or continue diving, including PADI Bubblemaker and Seal Team programs for kids (8+) and the Junior Open Water Diver program for those age 10 and up. There is also a PADI ReActivate™ option for parents who are certified but need to refresh their skills before a family trip."
– Kristin Valette, V.P. of Marketing, PADI Americas
Abeon Travel
Abeon Travel
"Abeon Travel believes that when you travel and explore the world with your children, you can share their experiences and enthusiasm. 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.” We are excited to join the Family Travel Association and look forward to being part of their mission to enhance learning through travel."
– Ida Keiper, Partner, Abeon Travel
Latin Trails / Galapagos Journey Cruises
Latin Trails / Galapagos Journey Cruises
"We believe that Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are a remarkable family destination, a place to bond with emotions that will last for a lifetime. Latin Trails is a family-owned company and we are confident that the Family Travel Association will allow us to share our beautiful part of the world with other families from around the world. We are committed to being multigenerational-friendly throughout our properties."
– Marcel Perkins, Owner & Managing Director, Latin Trails / Galapagos Journey Cruises
Tierra del Volcan
Tierra del Volcan
"Ecuador is a fantastic country for families: close to the US, compact and easy to travel in, loaded with diversity and culture. At its heart heart, you will find Tierra del Volcan, an adventure outfitter specialized in the Cotopaxi area since 1999, delivering unique and customized trips for families. We're proud to join the FTA to bring authentic haciendas, natural reserves and a great amount of fun and safe activities to traveling families. Ride horses, milk cows… and then… make cheese, feed the lamas, hike and explore waterfalls and native pristine forest, and admire the beauty of Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world."
– Jorge Perez, Founder, Tierra del Volcan
Travel Media Showcase
Travel Media Showcase
"Travel Media Showcase is committed to working with the FTA in their mission of highlighting travel as a key component in a child’s life and education."
– Joanne Vero, Producer, Trave Media Showcase
Vagabond Tours Ltd
Vagabond Tours Ltd
"Family groups and multigenerational travel have always formed a significant part of our business. The mix of activity, culture, history, scenery and shopping is a great blend for families of all ages. So when we heard about the Family Travel Association we though ‘we do that, it sounds like a great organization, we should definitely be a member.’"
– Rob Rankin, Managing Director, Vagabond Tours Ltd

Family Travel Association Member News

Todos Santos Eco Adventures Champions Citizen Science Programs in Baja California Sur

Parents and educator know the challenges of getting kids engaged in learning. That uphill battle can make any vacation with education at its core seem like a pretty tough sell. Here are three examples of the terrific citizen science programs in Mexico's Baja California Sur through which families get to participate in ongoing research projects designed to collect data that will help shape public policy and opinion for species and habitat conservation and sustainable use.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures Champions Citizen Science Programs in Baja California Sur

Giving Back on Vacation in Tanzania

As families continue to look for meaningful experiences to share on vacation, they increasingly seek ways to give back, whether that means spending a half day volunteering or bringing some much-needed supplies in your duffel when you travel to donate to an organization in need. Companies like Abercrombie & Kent even have an entire philanthropy division with project coordinators on the ground to help visiting families give back in some way.

Giving Back on Vacation in Tanzania

HomeAway’s ReRouteSanta Helps Vacationing Kids Relax About Being Found on Christmas
According to a new international survey by HomeAway, 84 percent of families plan to be together this Christmas, even though two-thirds predict there will be an argument with relatives. However, two-thirds of parents whose children still believe in Santa say kids worry Santa may not know where to find them. To get around this, HomeAway has provided a solution with, a simple and interactive way to reassure kids that their gifts will arrive at their holiday destinations.

Home Exchange Helps Connect Family

Many people use home exchanges to visit family. Christine used to go to Canada to meet her relatives for the first time!

Home Exchange Helps Connect Family

Best Ski Resorts for Families

Skiing can be intimidating — both skill-wise and money-wise — especially if your family is new to the sport. Luckily, most ski resorts offer trails and programs for beginners, many of them tailored to children specifically. More ski resorts have begun to offer additional activities for families, too, both on and off the mountain, along with packages and promotional discounts for opportunities to save. Here are Family Vacation Critic’s top picks for family ski resorts in 2015/2016.

Best Ski Resorts for Families

Family Travel Industry News

Play Time Reimagined: Le Medidien and Westin Hotels & Resorts Redefine the Future of Family Travel

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc. has launched a new family program rolling out at more than 300 Le Méridien and Westin Hotels & Resorts around the world. In response to growing global family travel demands, Westin Family and Le Méridien Family reinvent the kids club concept, reimagine family experiences within the hotel and introduce more meaningful branded amenities for young travelers. With multigenerational family travel on the rise, the programs specifically cater to the new way modern families travel.

Westin Family

DeLorme inReach Launches Women of Adventure

Every month in 2016, DeLorme, a producer of personal satellite tracking, messaging, and navigation technology, will feature one woman through videos, showcasing her travel experiences with her father or mentor, as well as previous holiday gifts that inspired a passion for the outdoors. DeLorme is proud to feature these 12 amazing Women of Adventure and demonstrate how parents are encouraged to give the best gift of all: adventure.

inReach Women of Adventure

The Latest and Greatest in Family Travel Gear

When it comes to vacationing with children and teens, preparedness is key. As every parent knows, packing for a family trip can be a serious challenge. Here are a few items identified by TravelAge West that will deepen a parent’s travel toolbox, as well as some top picks by fellow moms and dads who work in the travel industry.

The Latest and Greatest in Family Travel Gear

25 “Travel” Books To Inspire Kids and Teens

Travel books can give you a sense of place and expose you to art, history and culture, all from home. And books make great presents. Some people revisit their books and some favorites hang around well after they’ve been outgrown. Here are 25 books about the big blue marble and the people who live here for kids of all ages.

25 “Travel” Books To Inspire Kids and Teens
How Parents Can Influence World Peace

How Parents Can Influence World Peace

With the recent increase in violence, hatred and isolationism, it’s high time we take a good look at the world around us and discuss how to right the ship so that children everywhere aren’t left holding our rotten leftovers. One important hint: give kids the gift of travel. Travel from a young age can promote perspective, understanding, and empathy. Seeing another culture firsthand as a child creates a permanent imprint in their minds.

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.

Families Need Travel Planning Help
Regardless of the type of travelers they are, all families can use help with their travel planning.

Let the Kids Offer Family Travel Advice
New websites give children more of a say in their family's vacation.

Go on Safari With Rothschild
Visitors will view wildlife, connect with the local community on these Africa tours.
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