Family Travel Association Newsletter

Happy New Year! We're Diving into 2016 with a Strong Foundation

Week of January 4, 2016

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

100 Members and Counting!

True to promise, we are thrilled to have finished 2015 with 100 members. We are especially proud to have welcomed Beaches Resorts as our 100th member (see comment below). They helped us put closure on a strong first year and have inspired to kick off 2016 with a great start (see our newest members below).
Beaches Resorts
"Beaches Resorts is delighted to start the new year as the 100th member of the Family Travel Association, the premier organization of thought leadership in the family travel industry. From the very start, Beaches Resorts recognized that for so many families, getting away was their opportunity to get together. We look forward to contributing our time and talents to sharing the wonder and wonderfulness of the family vacation."
– Adam Stewart, CEO, Sandals Resorts International

Join Us at the New York Times Travel Show, January 8-10

* This weekend, we will have a table at the New York Times Travel Show. If you will be in attendance, please come see us and say hello! But wait, have you got plans to attend, but not yet locked in your ticket? Please let us know; we can get you complimentary registration.
New York Times Travel Show
* On Sunday, January 10, from 1:15-2:15pm, our founder and president, Rainer Jenss, will be heading a panel about Hidden Secrets for Traveling Families. The other participants are Laura Begley Bloom, Executive Editor of Yahoo Travel; Elaine Alimonti, Group Publisher of Lonely Planet and Budget Travel; and Sally Black, Founder of as they share
* At our table on Saturday and Sunday, we will be engaging with consumers about joining our FTA Consumer Panel, a focus group of traveling families from across the country interested in providing our members with valuable feedback.

The FTA Media Center Is Now Live

In late December, we launched our FTA Media Center with its first members. This exclusive network of family travel specialists consists of journalists, bloggers and industry experts with proven authority on the issues most important to traveling families. All FTA members will have direct access to this powerful group of media mavens — and visa versa. By bridging the gap between the media and brands who cater to families, we will increase and grow everyone’s media reach and impact.

FTA Media Center

Here We Go with FTA Spotlight: The Changing Faces of Family Travel

A few days ago, we launched the next step of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family (download overview), a year-long, multi-pronged editorial initiative designed to define and refine our understanding of the most pressing issues in family travel.

FTA Spotlight

Our first topic: The Changing Faces of Family Travel. Do you have demonstrated expertise in fostering multi-generational family groups? Or “blended” clans with foster or adopted children, step- and half children, and ex-spouses? Or single-parent families? How about families with two dads or two moms? And families with parents of different races or hailing from different cultures? Or families where one or more members have special needs? Or “voluntary kin” households? Or any combinations of the above? We want to hear from you!

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?

Dolomite Mountains
Dolomite Mountains
"At Dolomite Mountains, we know kids and family life (we’re parents ourselves!). We offer family hiking, biking and skiing trips, making sure kids can learn and grow from every itinerary, while ensuring activities are age-appropriate, safe, and, best of all, FUN! We have long been associated with innovative family travel, and are delighted to become part of the Family Travel Association. We look forward to joining all of you who share this vision for family travel, finding synergies between our organizations and creating partnerships with FTA members!"
– Agustina Lagos Mármol, Owner and Founder, Dolomite Mountains
Epik Adventure Guides
Epik Adventure Guides
"Through the Family Travel Association, Epic Adventure Guides aims to help families discover and consolidate their values for nature and people. We strengthen traveling family households by turning children into caring people."
– Mateo Ponce, Travel Director, Epik Adventure Guides
"We are very glad to join the Family Travel Association as it is the only association working on the right initiatives to develop and position family tourism in the U.S. Inkaterra is an ecotourism company with 40 years of experience that provides the best authentic experiential family itineraries in Peru."
– Liza Masias, Director of Sales & Marketing, Inkaterra
"KAI is excited to join the Family Travel Association. Our partners around the globe recognize the importance of family travel, so aligning ourselves with a great organization such as FTA is really a no-brainer. We are looking forward to working closely with Rainer and his team to bring the best travel experiences in the world to all FTA partners."
– David Kartagener, President, KAI
"The love of travel often begins with the family trip. Together we can create the next generation of travelers!"
– Carolann Assante, Executive Director, SYTA

Family Travel Association Member News

Family Travel Is a Big Part of Alaska’s 2016 Tourism Forecast

The State of Alaska’s 2016 tourism forecast looks strong, with the cruise industry alone expected to bring in a projected one million travelers this summer. Families and multigenerational groups are an important segment of the state’s visitors. Local destinations and tourism operators are responding accordingly with family-focused programs across all sectors, including cruising, group tours and even soft adventure excursions. Families can look for outdoor adventures and hands-on experiences that connect children with nature, wildlife, history and Alaska Native culture.

Photo credit: © State of Alaska/Hage Photo

How to Keep Your Multigenerational Vacation from Becoming the Griswolds on Steroids

For most, the prospect of multigenerational travel brings to mind one of two scenarios: a holiday card or the Griswolds on steroids. A solid mix of exasperation and exhilaration, multigenerational trips aren’t easy to plan or execute but the possibility of survival is there if you’re prepared. These tips will help you reduce the bumps of an intergenerational trip.

How to Keep Your Multigenerational Vacation from Becoming the Griswolds on Steroids

New Year Brings New “Choose Your Adventure” Ticket to Four Florida Parks

Tourists visiting Florida can now choose from a variety of new admission products for the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens family of parks that provide more value and flexibility. The “Choose Your Adventure” ticket option allows guests to customize their ideal itinerary AND receive substantial savings for each additional park or visit — the more they visit, the more they save. The following four parks are included: SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando and Adventure Island Tampa Bay.

Adventure Island

2016 Travel Trends: Rothschild Safaris’ HOTTEST Trips for the New Year

Signifying a clear trend toward traveler demand for iconic experiences and interpersonal exchanges, Rothschild Safaris announced its Hottest Trips for 2016 list, spanning experiences in Africa, Asia and South America. Of note: South Africa is a destination particularly popular with family and multi-generational group travelers.

2016 Travel Trends: Rothschild Safaris’ HOTTEST Trips for the New Year

Malaria-Free Camps and a Weak Rand Equal Epic Family Safari Bargains in South Africa

For anyone thinking about a family safari, now is the perfect time to book a safe bargain in South Africa, says Aardvark Safaris. Malaria-free camps like Tswalu and Madikwe, both of which are top choices for families, are now significantly cheaper than last year, and kids are even half off at Madikwe Safari Lodge.

Malaria-Free Camps and a Weak Rand Equal Epic Family Safari Bargains in South Africa

Family Travel Industry News

A Stress-Free, Family Vacation? It's Possible!

Planning a vacation that includes family members with a range of ages, personalities and interests can involve a bit of tension. Shared on AARP, these are Samantha Brown’s secrets on how to plan a trip that’s enjoyable for all.

A Stress-Free, Family Vacation? It's Possible!

The Best U.S. Resorts for Family Reunions: Reader’s Choice Swards 2015

When choosing a resort for a family reunion, three things matter most: a central, easy-to-reach location; room to spread out, both indoors and out; and activities for Grandma down to the toddlers. Luckily, these 20 choices – all Condé Nast Traveler favorites of 2015 – have all that and more.

The Best U.S. Resorts for Family Reunions: Reader’s Choice Swards 2015

The Worst Travel Advice for Families

Travel means different things to different people. When you’re flying solo, it may be for the chance to discover the world, or to discover yourself. And when you travel with kids, you might view it as a chance to bond or an opportunity to raise globally aware humans. No matter how or who you travel with, sometimes you do need a little advice. But that advice can be subjective… not to mention bordering on the ridiculous.

The Worst Travel Advice for Families

When the Kids Take Charge of Family Travel

According to a study, when adults are traveling with children, a young person’s preferences often influence their family’s travel decisions, especially through the use of the Internet as their top-used resource for determining a vacation. In the 2015 MMGY Global “Portrait of American Travelers” study, a markedly higher 70 percent of families reported that their children have a say in planning. Read all about it on TravelAge West.

When the Kids Take Charge of Family Travel

8 Road Trip Tips for Traveling with Young Children

Road trips are trying. Adults don’t enjoy being confined to a seat for several hours at a time, so imagine how frustrating it is for small children, especially when they are too young to gauge time and aren’t amused by the passing view. The road trip tips covered in this piece aren’t just about the journey or the car ride, but are helpful ideas for what to do at the stops along the way that will minimize meltdowns and frustration.

8 Road Trip Tips for Traveling with Young 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.

Bring the Kids to Tropical Tortuguero
Families can get up close with a bounty of wildlife in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park.

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in Yellowstone
Kids can see bears and other animals up close at Yellowstone's Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.

New Year, New Family Travel Deals
Families can book these snowy and sunny travel deals and discounts for savings in 2016.
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