Family Travel Association Newsletter

Our FTA Summer Has Started Out HOT!

Week of June 20, 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.

Visit our newsletter archive for past issues.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Family Travel Association News

FTA Sponsors Inaugural Family Travel Pavilion at 2017 New York Times Travel Show

We are proud to announce our confirmation as an industry sponsor of the inaugural Family Travel Pavilion at the 2017 New York Times Travel Show. Predicted to be one of the busiest pavilions in the 2017 show, the Family Travel Pavilion will consist of exhibit booth space — hosting and showcasing leading players in the family travel space — as well as a presentation stage and a kids demonstration area.

New York Times Travel Show 2017
The FTA will also be involved in the Focus on Family Travel Conference and offer expertise and guidance on family-related consumer seminars and meet-the-experts topics. Participation in the Family Travel Pavilion will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis, so don't delay. Contact us for more information!

FTA Partners with Family Travel Advisor Forum

We are excited to present a partnership on the 2016 Family Travel Advisor Forum, set to debut at the Royalton Riviera Cancun, Mexico, from November 1 – 5. The Family Travel Advisor Forum, produced by Specialty Travel Forums (which recently ran a spotlight on the FTA) will bring 130 hand-selected travel sellers from across the US and Canada face to face with the most qualified audience of sellers.

Family Travel Advisor Forum
As a key event sponsor, the Family Travel Association will play an active role in developing content and contributing to the overall education on the ever-growing and lucrative family vacation market. FTA members are encouraged to participate, especially in light of exclusive benefits. Contact us for more information!
Trekaroo logo

Visit Orlando Joins the FTA!

With Rainer Jenss (President) and Chez Chesak (Executive Director) busy at IPW in New Orleans, we’ve made lots of progress. Of particular importance at IPW was confirmation of Visit Orlando, the #1 family travel destination in the world, as our latest destination member. (The photo is of Rainer and Chez flanking George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando.) Orlando’s had a rough few weeks, so we are very pleased to show our support for their efforts to welcome family and all other people to their fine part of the world.

FTA Headlines Family Travel Panel at TBEX in Minnesota

Over Memorial Day weekend, family travel was the focus of two sessions at TBEX Minnesota, which was co-hosted by FTA Member Mall of America. One panel about What Family Travelers Need: How the Industry Can Respond featured Ethan Gelber (FTA Editorial Director); Leigh Barnes, Regional Director, Americas of the Intrepid Group (FTA Member); and Keryn Means, Founder of Walking Travels (FTA Media Center Member), all pictured below.

What Family Travelers Need: How the Industry Can Respond
Another session, presided over by Beth Blair (FTA Media Center Member), explored How to Stay Relevant as a Family Travel Blogger.

“Intrepid Travel will offer over 50 dedicated family itineraries next year which is a huge step for us. We’ve put a lot of time into developing these new tours and we’re very excited to share our learnings with the industry.”
- Leigh Barnes, Regional Director, Americas, Intrepid Group

Tell Your Non-Industry Friends About Our Consumer Newsletter

We’ve started focusing on family-travel topics and issues of interest to consumers too. In our consumer-facing newsletters, we delve deeply into one topic at a time — like Family Safari in Africa or Family Travel and Vacation Rentals. Know anyone who might want to follow along? Please encourage them to sign up for our Travelers Newsletter.

FTA Spotlight Shifts Focus to Its Focus to Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While Traveling

At the current stage of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family campaign (download overview) we are searching for great resources about Pondering a New (and Adventurous!) Health and Safety Normal in Family Travel.

FTA Spotlight

Mainstream travelers are rightly preoccupied with safety and health. So how can typical family-travel health and safety concerns be handled so they don't compound the dread that pushes people into less adventurous vacations. It's healthier to face our fears than to allow them to rule our lives.

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

FTA Is Social - Share with Us

We’re busy on social media sharing about family travel. Join the conversation on Facebook (/familytravelassociation) and Twitter (@FamilyTravAssoc) and be sure to use the #familytravel hashtag!

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?

Just as we did in March and in April, the FTA is pleased to welcome a new round of dude ranch members.
Cherokee Park Ranch
Cherokee Park Ranch
"Cherokee Park Ranch joined the FTA because family is what defines us. We offer more than just a western adventure, we provide you with a WOW experience that will bring your family closer together."
– Christine Prince, Owner
Family Twist
Hawley Mountain Ranch
"I was excited about the chance to be listed with a good organization that could reach out to people who were looking for a wholesome vacation, but didn't necessarily know about guest ranches. We have entertained many first-time ranch family visitors and they have had great experiences. We want to reach more of them."
– Ron Jarrett, Owner
Hunewill Ranch
Hunewill Ranch
"We joined the FTA because families enjoy the vacations we offer. The ranch is a place where they can enjoy meals together, shared activities, horseback riding, fishing, and relaxing in a beautiful setting. There are third-generation families who come to our ranch because it their favorite place to spend time together."
– Betsy Hunewill Elliott, Owner
Lost Valley Ranch
Lost Valley Ranch
"We chose to join the FTA with much hope and expectation as to what this relationship will mean for the future. LVR desires to change lives through our guest ranch experience here in the Rocky Mountains. We look forward to being a part of a relationship that provides opportunities for families to have impactful and memorable vacations.
– Tony Warnock, President/CEO
Majestic Dude Ranch
Majestic Dude Ranch
"“We joined the FTA to spread the word about our family-friendly ranch, which includes bonding and team-building activities such as fishing, dancing, horseback riding, archery, mountain biking, white water rafting and much more! You're not just booking a room at the Majestic Dude Ranch, you're planning an adventure.”
– Robert Bucksbaum, Owner
The Red Rock Ranch
The Red Rock Ranch
"Joining the FTA was an easy decision, as our entire summer revolves around families. Our kids program is the cornerstone of what we do. We are thrilled to be part of an organization that is centered around what we do and what we are — a family travel destination."
– Douglas Hare, General Manger
Tumbling River Ranch
Tumbling River Ranch
"We joined the FTA because Tumbling River Ranch is a second-generation, family-owned dude ranch. I was raised here and now I raise my family here. I remember being exposed to the world through all of our guests. My world got bigger, my experiences got bigger from hearing all their stories. I have built a life of travel experiences based on these stories and recommendations."
– Megan Dungan, Owner
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch
"Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is so honored to join the FTA, as family is at the heart of our ranch. With a ranching history in north Idaho spanning seven generations, there is nothing that gives us more pleasure then sharing our ranching heritage with our visiting families."
– Janice Schooner, Co-owner
White Stallion Ranch
White Stallion Ranch
"White Stallion Ranch's 50 years of success is a direct result of the True Family's values. It just made perfect sense for us to join the FTA. Our highly personalized service and family atmosphere have become increasingly important as technology seems to erode the pleasure of communication and spending quality time with each other."
– Susanne Walsh, Marketing

Family Travel Association Member News

Why Families Need Travel Agents More Than Ever

Father and son at airport, watching planes
There are questions travel agents should ask families. They are inquiries that illustrate — in concrete terms — a critical time-versus-money argument that every busy parent can appreciate. They also paint a vivid picture of why parents need trusted travel agents.

Student & Youth Travel Digest Quantifies Impact of Student Travel on Leadership Skills, Learning and Job Readiness

Social Impact of Student Travel
The Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) has just released the findings of a landmark global study that gauges the impact of travel on students and the travel industry. The study sheds light on the opportunity to enhance learning while creating economic opportunities.

Families Find Adventure at Colorado Dude Ranches

Families Find Adventure at Colorado Dude Ranches
Ranches offer a host of options to both kids and adults. Choose from fishing, swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, cookouts – and even petting zoos. Here are some examples of what families can experience at Colorado’s dude ranches.

Bound Round Wins People’s Choice Award at Web in Travel Japan and North Asia 2016

Janeece of Bound Round at WIT
More than 500 travel industry digital specialists participated in WIT Japan & North Asia 2016, where Bound Round presented as an innovator. On the final day, they won the People's Choice Award - validation that making family travel easy for the whole family translates well around the region.

Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort Debuts Parents Magazine Kids’ Menu

Kids menu by Parents Magazine
Family-vacation mecca Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas has partnered with Parents Magazine to create a first-ever dream kids menu. Having debuted at Bimini Road Restaurant, the children's menu has been confirmed as both healthy and fun, and naturally Bahamian inspired.

FTA Spotlight: Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While Traveling

This week, several people shared important information in response to our call for contributions to the current FTA Spotlight topic: Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While Traveling. Four of them follow here.

What the Cincinnati Gorilla Incident Teaches Us About Family Travel

Harambe the gorilla
Amidst all the finger wagging following the horrible story of the boy who fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, one thing nobody really focused on was what the entire debacle can teach us about family travel. The primary lesson: Keep tabs on your kiddos at all times.

Vacation Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Go Without (for Special-Needs Families)

Vacation Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Go Without (for Special-Needs Families)
Since safety measures vary between everyday life and times of travel, it is crucial for parents of kids with autism to teach and rehearse basic safety rules at home, before venturing off into the great unknown. Click here and skip ahead to pages 16-17.

10 Top Tips for Safe Summer Travel

Families Go Travel: 10 Top Tips for Safe Summer Travel
When something goes amiss on vacation, it can often be memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. So that families can have the best possible memories from all their travels, here is a list of some of the most important tips for safe summer travel from a group of family travel writers.

“You Can’t Live Your Life Being Afraid to Go Anywhere”

Taking the Kids: “You Can’t Live Your Life Being Afraid to Go Anywhere”
The Carnival Vista cruise ship has more than 4,000 passengers; this writer hasn’t run into anyone who considered changing plans due to concerns about terrorism. “You can’t live your life being afraid to go anywhere,” commented one mom. “That’s no fun!”

What's New with Family Vacations

What's New with Family Vacations
It's as if an invisible starting flag drops. In homes across America, when school ends, there is a whirlwind of planning and packing, excitement and whining, organizing and panicking. Another summer, another season of millions of Americans taking family vacations. So what else is new? Well, a lot actually.

5 Ways to Give Back When Traveling

5 Ways to Give Back When Traveling
Ten percent of families we surveyed said they'd taken a volunteer vacation. More importantly, 29 percent said that they would be interested in one. Of those who'd taken a volunteer vacation, 72 percent said they'd do it again. Here are some of the ways that travelers can give back while on vacation.

Offering Incentives to Get Kids Onboard

Offering Incentives to Get Kids Onboard
It’s no surprise that the river cruise industry has its eye on the family travel market. Beyond the bold efforts to get more families onboard (more active excursions, kid-friendly onboard programs etc.), river cruise lines are rolling out deals and discounts aimed at our youngest river cruisers.

‘Family Travel with Colleen Kelly’ Focuses on River Wildlife

‘Family Travel with Colleen Kelly’
‘Family Travel with Colleen Kelly’ has published a second part of its new nature/wildlife family travel blog. It features the River Wildlife nature preserve in Kohler, Wisconsin, and the ways that this outdoor playground can be enjoyed, from hiking, kayaking and horseback riding to log cabin dining.

New Rides Debut at SeaWorld Orlando & Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

New Rides Debut at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Orlando’s tallest (200 feet), fastest (73 mph) and longest (nearly one mile) coaster, a hypercoaster called MAKO, has opened at SeaWorld Orlando to great hoopla. Meanwhile, the new multi-directional coaster, called Cobra’s Curse, has taken Busch Gardens Tampa Bay by storm.
Family Getaways

Family Travel Thoughts from the FTA Media Center

Read some of the latest writing from the experienced and knowledgeable voices in our Media Center.

Top Ten Travel Tips for Flying Families
Flying somewhere this summer? Taking the kids? Flying with a family can be rough if you don't plan ahead - and prepare. Here are Jessie Voigts’ top tips for flying families.

The Family Vacation of a Lifetime
Shnieka L. Johnson tells us about one family’s 13,000-mile trek, followed by Travel Channel, across multiple countries on a journey to a remote Himalayan region.

Family Vacation Ideas in Aspen, Colorado
Heather Mundt reminds us that Aspen offers kid-friendly and year-round outdoor fun paired with spectacular mountain views.

An RV National Park Family Road Trip to Highest U.S. Concentration of Natural Wonders #ABDRVing
After years of trying — including his teens exclaiming “National parks are boring!” — Dave Parfitt’s family travel plans are in place. Follow along!

Family Travel Industry News

The Airline Fee to Sit with Your Family

The Airline Fee to Sit with Your Family
You’re not alone: more and more airlines are changing their systems so that the privilege of choosing where to sit is reserved only for big-spending customers, or travelers willing to pay. This poses a real problem for anyone traveling with young children and desiring to sit with them.
“Scott McCartney sheds much-needed light on a very real problem for today's family traveler: airlines unapologetically holding travelers hostage when it comes to seating assignments. With few so-called 'free' seating options available to non-elite status passengers on most airlines, family travelers have two options: learn to play the game — which involves multiple phone calls to the airline, checking and rechecking seat maps, and begging or bribing fellow passengers — or pay up, neither of which should be acceptable.”
— Amy Whitley, freelance travel writer, Pit Stops for Kids founder

10 Tips for Travel Bliss with Kids

10 Tips for Travel Bliss with Kids
From a dad who spent 300 days on the road with his kids. As a resident of Orlando with a front-row seat to the world’s #1 family travel destination, Chris Elliott watches the flow of visitors to the world’s best theme parks and beaches. He's learned from their mistakes, even as he's made a few of his own. Here are the worst.

Tips for Stress-Free Travel with Kids

Tips for Stress-Free Travel with Kids
The days are getting longer, the temperature is slowly rising and soon it will be here: the long-awaited summer vacation. But how can you pull off a vacation with the kids that’s as stress-free as possible? Tripwolf has some great tips for you.

Send Us Your Awkward Family Travel Photos

Send Us Your Awkward Family Travel Photos
Some of the most memorable moments of a family vacation are also the most awkward. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because what great photos they make! The New York Times is asking you to find and share (on Instagram) your uncomfortable vacation photos using #awkwardfamilytravels.

The Families That Can’t Afford Summer

The Families That Can’t Afford Summer
What are your kids' summer pans? For working parents, it’s a loaded question. What have you pulled together that will keep your kids engaged, healthy, happy and safe, while still keeping them fed and clothed? For most parents, summer is a financial and logistical nightmare.

Find an All-Inclusive Family Vacation to Fit Any Budget

Find an All-Inclusive Family Vacation to Fit Any Budget
When people think of all-inclusive vacations, they often think of those fancy resorts that market to newlyweds and couples. But you can get a good family vacation that’s all-inclusive at a reasonable price if you think outside the box and plan ahead.

Beyond Family Cruises: 10 New Multigenerational Vacation Ideas

Beyond Family Cruises: 10 New Multigenerational Vacation Ideas
Multigenerational vacations are more popular than ever. Here are 10 outside-the-box multigenerational vacation ideas to consider as a family, from bike tours as new ways to explore cities, national parks and even vineyards to all-inclusive lakeside resorts.

VisitBritain Launches GIANT Tourism Campaign in Run-up to The BFG Film Release

Visit Britain
As Britain gears up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, VisitBritain is showcasing to the world what makes Britain a GIANT - and family-friendly - tourism destination.
Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through TravelAge West

As part of a collaboration with TravelAge West, we are sharing selected items of interest from their family travel news desk.

Travel Trend Spotlight: Millennial Families
Industry analysts report on this growing generation — and how their families are changing travel.

National Park Travel by RV with Tracks and Trails
Hit the open road with the family — and let Tracks & Trails take cares of all the details.

Planning Accessible Travel for Families with Special Needs
Travel agents can truly make an impact on families by learning more about accessible travel.
Copyright © 2016 Family Travel Association, All rights reserved.