Family Travel Association Newsletter

Save the Date! The 2016 FTA Summit Is Coming to… (see below)

Week of February 29, 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

FTA Announces Its 2016 FTA Summit Location and Date

The FTA proudly announces that the 2016 Family Travel Association Summit will be held October 23-26 at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona.

The Summit is an invitation-only, trade-only conference that convenes the leadership of the family travel industry, including tour operators, travel agents, trade and consumer media, destinations, resorts and industry suppliers.

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa

"The team at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is thrilled to host the Family Travel Association Summit 2016. Families traveling with children have always been an important part of our business, now more so than ever. Helping these multigenerational guests create memorable holidays is central to our resort's mission. We strive to offer authentic Southwestern experiences in a world-class resort environment to families that travel - and certainly to the delegates of the FTA Summit as well."
– Glenn Sampert, General Manger, The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa

LEARN MORE NOW. Attendance will be limited to 300 delegates.

Sponsorship information is available. If you are interested, please contact FTA Executive Director Chris ‘Chez’ Chesak.

FTA Takes in Travel Shows on Two Coasts

On the east coast, Executive Director Chris "Chez" Chesak attended the Boston Globe Travel Show, an FTA partner, and met with members like Boston-based Thomson Family Adventures. The Show welcomed a three-day total of 22,807 attendees (20,661 consumers and 2,146 travel trade).

"It was also a great opportunity to sit down with the show directors and discuss how we can help make the show bigger and better for consumers and FTA members, and even more family friendly."
– Chris "Chez" Chesak

Boston Globe Travel Show
Meanwhile, on the west coast, at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, also an FTA partner, two presentations took a good look at family travel. On Saturday, FTA Board member Jim Pickell spoke about Bringing Meaning to Family Travel (Without Breaking the Bank). His approach: don't ask if family trips are fun, ask if they are meaningful, especially when seen through the lenses of authenticity and affordability. (Check out Jim's presentation on a similar topic at the 2015 FTA Summit.)
Bringing Meaning to Family Travel (Without Breaking the Bank)
On Sunday, FTA Board member Matt Villano joined forces with FTA Member Colleen Kelly (Family Travel with Colleen Kelly), and Jennifer Miner (The Vacation Gals) and Margalit Francus (Autistic Globetrotting) for Real Talk with Real Parents: The Dirt and Dirty Truth About Family Travel, a look at how family travel isn’t always pretty, but *is* always possible.
Real Talk with Real Parents: The Dirt and Dirty Truth About Family Travel

FTA Spotlight Continues Focus on Flying with Children

In the next step of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family campaign (download overview) we are searching for great resources about Easing the Anxiety of Flying with Children.

FTA Spotlight

Whether you choose to vacation abroad or closer to home, the inescapable reality is that we live in an increasingly global world. And yet too many schools – especially in the public school system – are failing our kids by believing that more learning occurs in a classroom than in the world beyond it. Any adult who gives a child the gift of travel, however, bestows the gift that keeps on giving. We owe our children their global tomorrows by raising well-traveled and world-ready students.

Do you have strong feelings about this? We want to hear from you!

Family Travel Association Industry Newsletter Archive

Just in case you’ve missed any previous issues of this newsletter, check out our newly minted complete newsletter archive. We sure have come a long way together over the course of 30 editions!

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?

"Having been involved in the travel industry for years, I wanted to bring my knowledge and experience to the Family Travel Association and be a part of a community that helps tell the story about the importance of travel, the experiences it provides and the positive impact it can have on a family."
– Lynne Craig, Director, Client Partnerships, Fruition
Global Family Travel
Global Family Travel
"Global Family Travels is excited to expand our family circle in joining the Family Travel Association! We look forward to connecting with other members and to helping educate consumers about the benefits of immersive family travel."
– Jennifer Spatz, Founder, Global Family Travels, LLC
Islandjane EcoTours
Islandjane EcoTours
"Islandjane EcoTours joined FTA to further promote her personal and custom travel planning services, and to build new relationships with family travelers who seek exposure to amazing learning adventures, surrounded by the cultural and natural beauty of Hawaii."
– Jane Howard, Owner & Founder, Islandjane EcoTours

Family Travel Association Member News

Seeing the Andes on Horseback Is Great for All Ages

As recently recognized by The New York Times and Travel + Leisure, seeing the Andes on horseback is one of the best ways to enjoy its magnificent scenery and local culture. Tierra del Volcán is a local family-friendly tour operator that specializes in family-friendly horseback rides and treks that also include the increasingly popular dude ranch experience. Family groups can choose between riding through farmland for a couple of hours or a family-focused multi-day expedition, all in traditional haciendas that surround Ecuador’s Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park.

Tierra del Volcan

World Largest Assembly of Travel Media to Meet at Mall of America

Mall of America, in cooperation with Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be hosting the 2016 TBEX North America conference from May 29-31, expected to be the greatest travel media event in the history of Minnesota. The three-day gathering, host to 800-1000 domestic and international travel media and travel industry representatives, is composed of speed networking sessions, educational seminars, presentations and keynotes led by renowned speakers, influencers and thought leaders, including prominent family travel spokespeople from the FTA and elsewhere. To register to attend as industry professionals, visit here. For sponsorship opportunities, start here.

TBEX North America

South Dakota Is a Treasure Trove of Learning Opportunities for Families

South Dakota is drawing attention to its family travel opportunities, from the state parks's junior ranger and paleontologist programs and Mount Rushmore’s 75th anniversary this year to the National Park Service's Activity 99 Black Hills scavenger hunt and the Outdoor Campuses where children learn about and enjoy outdoor activities. Also not to be forgotten are the rich Native American history, Laura Ingalls Wilder's homestead and the legendary gold rush town of Historic Deadwood, once home to Old West legends like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Historic Deadwood

5 Best Dolomite Ski Runs for Kids

Dolomite Mountains asks: Why not hit the slopes as a family and create lasting memories you’ll all cherish for many years to come? If you’re planning a trip to the Dolomites with the whole clan in tow, here are five of the best ski areas for children to try out their ski legs and learn new skills. Also check out their family skiing itineraries in the Dolomites.

5 Best Dolomite Ski Runs for Kids

A Teenagers Perspective on Animal Encounters in the Galapagos

Not sure that teenagers can appreciate the unique wildlife of a protected natural paradise? Here's a description by Ryan Gelderloos, who returned from what he called an "amazing" trip to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest. This wildlife adventure is captured here in his list of seven unforgettable encounters that left him with memories for a lifetime.

penguin in the Galapagos

Family Travel Industry News

Travel Five: 5 Hot Beaches to Put on Your List

Spring holidays provide options for seaside bonding. Here are five beach destinations to consider when traveling with your family in California, Florida, Maui (Hawaii), the Galapagos Islands and Providenciales (Turks and Caicos).

Travel Five: 5 Hot Beaches to Put on Your List

Family Travel First-Aid Kits

Health and safety is all the talk for family travel as families are planning trips for spring break. On the heels of the World Health Organization declaring the Zika virus an international public health emergency, everyone is wondering if it’s still safe to travel. Erin Kirkland with AK on the Go joined KTVA Daybreak (Alaska) to touch on a few health and safety guidelines to consider when traveling south, like preparing a travel first-aid kit to protect against bugs.

Family Travel First-Aid Kits

Staying Healthy While Traveling the Globe

On a recent trip to Tanzania with her four grandsons, this writer's most important task (beside protecting them from the jaws of a lion or leopard) was to keep them, and herself, in good health. She went prepared for the worst, did everything she could to make their trip the best. And no one got sick. Along with a host of other helpful travel hints from well-informed professional sources, here is a description of what she did.

Staying Healthy While Traveling the Globe

Are Your Children Getting the Most out of Travel?

Taking a year out to travel as a family is always going to be more than having a holiday with the kids. It's about spending time with them and trying to develop them. So how to go about that? Here's a reflection on the challenges of getting young children to engage with travel. And whether a theme park counts as a cultural experience.

Are Your Children Getting the Most out of Travel?

3-Generation Family Trips Gain New Appeal but Can Bare Old Tensions

Relatives have been sharing major holidays like Thanksgiving for as long as holidays have existed. Over the last half-decade, however, families have increasingly been going on vacations together, according to numerous surveys and interviews with travel experts. The key to keeping everyone entertained and avoiding fights.

3-Generation Family Trips Gain New Appeal but Can Bare Old Tensions
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.

10 Smart Tips for Traveling with Seniors
Traveling with seniors is not without its obstacles, but these tips will help ensure everyone has a great trip.

A Travel Agent Guide to Family Heritage Travel
The dos and don’ts of selling this booming family travel niche.

Nickelodeon Brings Its First Global Resort to Punta Cana
The 208-suite Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana features entertainment for all ages, pineapple decor and gourmet fare.
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