Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Announces Its 2017 Summit Theme: Better Together!

Week of April 24, 2017

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.

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Family Travel Association News

The FTA’s New Summit Theme Focuses on Inclusion in Family Travel

The FTA’s New Summit Theme Focuses on Inclusion in Family Travel We recently announced the theme for our 2017 FTA Summit: Better Together – Fostering Inclusion in Family Travel.

As described two years ago in our spotlight on The Changing Faces of Family Travel, the faces of families has changed enormously in recent times. And with those changes has come a major metamorphosis in the faces of family travel. Now we’re pleased to tackle the importance of inclusion, because we believe in extended and “blended” and “voluntary kin” clans, single-parent households and those with two dads or two moms, families of different and mixed races or hailing from different cultures, homes where one or more members have special needs… and any combinations of the above!

Sven Lindblad
Chitra Stern
We are also pleased to name two of our keynote speakers: Sven Lindblad (above left), Founder of Lindblad Expeditions, which operates in a strategic alliance with National Geographic that combines the strengths of two pioneers in global exploration; and Chitra Stern, the award-winning businesswoman and owner of Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts, high-end family hotels in Portugal.

The FTA expects 200 attendees this year, and also recently released a short video (see bottom/right image above) that captures the energy and excitement of the 2016 FTA Summit.

To learn more and see the draft agenda, a list of past attendees, travel information and registration details, CLICK HERE.

The FTA Media Center Announces New Co-Chairs

We are proud to announce that Erin Kirkland (below left) and Matt Villano have been named co-chairs of the FTA Media Center, which now includes 80 of the world’s premier family travel media specialists. As co-chairs, Erin and Matt will help create a collaborative and engaged community, further define criteria for membership acceptance and establish additional membership benefits. Most importantly, under their guidance, the Media Center and its members will be integrated into FTA’s various programs and initiatives. Kit Bernardi, whose leadership and expertise helped us launch and build out the Media Center, will remain onboard as an active Media Center member.

The FTA Finds Its TV Groove

Earlier this month, FTA President Rainer Jenss appeared on WUSA 9, the CBS network affiliate in Washington, DC. He chatted with Chris and Markette, the hosts of Great Day Washington, a daily morning talk show, as part of their Travel Tuesday focus on Autism and Traveling. A few days later, he also provided expert commentary on an ABC news item about a mother nearly separated from her daughter on a flight. Stay tuned for more air time!
Rainer Jenss on Great Day Washington

Family Travel and Road Tripping

In the most recent edition of our consumer-facing newsletter, we looked at Family Travel and Road Tripping. It’s an in-depth examination of both the magic and mystery of family road trips, including testimonials, tips and suggestions from 17 family travel experts… and Buddha too.

Family Travel in a (Tricky) New Travel Climate

Families Need to Feel Safe While Traveling

In early April, our editorial director, Ethan Gelber, published a column in Family Getaways about Encouraging Safe and Healthy Family Travel. Right on its heels, Ken Shapiro, the magazine’s editor wrote an editorial — Uncertainty Is an Issue with Family Travel — advising that “one of the most significant functions of all travel agents should be to help clients overcome concerns about all the things that can potentially go wrong on the road.” We agree.
Encouraging Safe and Healthy Family Travel

Remember That Legislation About Families Flying Together?

In recent weeks, the news media has been full of reports about how poorly airlines treat their passengers. The abuses, while sometimes pushed to an uncomfortable extreme, have continued to make families feel like they are not a priority. There are many ways in which airlines can better engage with families, but foremost among them will be a law requiring airlines to seat families together. We reported on this last year, but we are now not far from a July deadline by which time we hope to see real action.
To Keep Families Flying Together, U.S. Congress Passes New Law

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?

Guru Travel
Guru Travel
"I am passionate about family travel. My mission is to educate families on the endless opportunities they have to travel safely and within their means. Joining the FTA is an enhancement to my passion."
– Kelly Ortiz, Owner/Travel Professional
Little Lisbon - Animação Turística Lda
Little Lisbon - Animação Turística Lda
"We did not hesitate to become a member of the FTA because we believe we are contributing to a collective and stronger voice on behalf of the travel industry that is specially aimed at traveling families in search of experiences that will create many positive shared memories. Also, we wish to drive growth and awareness for Portugal, and Lisbon in particular, as a family travel destination by enhancing current offerings targeted at families and children."
– Mariana Sargo, Founder & CEO
Ntaba African Safaris
Ntaba African Safaris
"The FTA was founded with a mission that aligns perfectly with what Ntaba African Safaris does on a daily basis. Multigenerational travel is vital to family bonds and enhances the travel experience of each family member. We see it bring people closer and create lifetime memories through an adventure in a setting that people only first dream of. We make Africa available for the whole family!"
– Robin Mountain, Owner/CEO
Top Service GmbH
Top Service GmbH
"We decided to join the FTA as a main gateway to expanding our Family Experiences in the North American market, together with the will to share information and knowledge with many other skilled professional agents already members of the FTA."
– Paola De Paolis, CEO
Tourism Fiji
Tourism Fiji
"Fiji is a family's tropical wonderland. A place where families can fill their hearts with happiness and their cameras with memories. We are excited to partner with the FTA in keeping families informed about the range of experiences and real charm of the Fiji islands."
– Ruth Daly, Regional Director - North America
" is excited to join the FTA's growing roster of travel companies that help families have memorable experiences and trips. We look forward to sharing insights from our family tribe to help travelers plan the best vacations for their families – and to hear industry perspective on trends in this space."
– Julia Pond, Editorial Director

Family Travel Association Member News

Family Travel and Autism Awareness Month

Sesame Workshop Expands Commitment to Autistic Children and Their Families with the Introduction of Their New Character, Julia
April has been Autism Awareness Month and we have been pleased by the degree to which the travel industry has embraced the travel-for-families-with-special-needs cause:
* Sesame Workshop Expands Commitment to Autistic Children and Their Families with the Introduction of Their New Character, Julia
Kids Sea Camp
* Royal Caribbean’s Autism-Friendly Sailings: A Family’s Story
* Special Needs Travel: 5 Great Ideas for a Memorable Family Vacation
* LEGOLAND Celebrates Autism Awareness Month with ASD Initiative
* Preparing to Fly with Kids with Autism
* Friendlier Skies: Airlines Are Making Travel Easier for People with Autism Unveils Its 2017 Family Travel Awards Unveils Its 2017 Family Travel Awards
The award-winning travel planning app and website has announced its 2017 Family Travel Awards, with top attractions that go beyond the tried and true, noticeably quirky rising stars destinations, amazing beaches and unique resorts all earning their spots on this year’s list.

10 Best Beaches in the U.S. for Families in 2017

10 Best Beaches in the U.S. for Families in 2017
Experiential travel is on the rise, as more families look to cultural and historic destinations for their vacations. Another thing families want to do? Disconnect. For that, the family beach vacation remains a tried-and-true getaway. These beaches, selected by Family Vacation Critic, deliver just that.

Top 8 Things That I Loved About My UnCruise Vacation

Alaska On the Go: Exploring the Alaska Marine Highway System with Children
This kid loves the water. He also like to experience nature – the more unusual the sighting, the better. So he was pretty excited when his mom told him that they’d be going on a cruise with UnCruise Adventures to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. Here’s his report, published in KidTripster.

Things to Do in Tucson, Arizona – Insider Tips from Local Kids

Things to Do in Tucson, Arizona - Insider Tips from Local Kids
Heading to the Southwest? From Bound Round, here’s a video and resource page about where to go and what to do with kids in Tucson, straight out of the mouths of kids. Having just been to Tucson last fall for the 2016 FTA Summit, we think that what they have to say is right on the money.

Family Twist Commences Activities in Venice and Barcelona

Family Twist Commences New Activities in Venice and Barcelona
Family Twist, the one stop shop for private luxury family vacations and activities in Europe, has expanded operations by adding Venice and Barcelona to its roster of cities. By summer, even more cities will be added, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Vacatia’s CEO Named to American Resort Development Association’s Board of Directors

Vacatia was also named the winner of the “ACE Innovator Award: Industry Partner” at the ARDA Awards, and lauded for enabling the future of the resort industry through, among other things, "its dedicated focus on making resort residences more accessible to the family travel market.”

Family Travel with Intrepid, Hiking the Camino and More

Family Travel with Intrepid, Hiking the Camino and More
Families starting to plan for this year's vacations are checking out Intrepid Travel; the tour company has doubled the number of its family-friendly trips this year to 48. Many have an itinerary tailored to an active lifestyle, and most have a minimum age of either 5 or 11.
FTA Media Center

Family Travel Thoughts from the FTA Media Center

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

Why Delta Air Lines Paid Me $11,000 Not to Fly to Florida This Weekend by Laura Begley Bloom in Forbes

How To Travel with a Baby or Toddler by Julia Dimon in Travel Junkie Julia

Travel Itineraries for All Ages in Nicaragua by Heather Mundt in TravelAge West

Family Vacation Journal: Journey to Machu Picchu by Ethan Gelber in TravelAge West

Family Travel Industry News

Vituoso® Reveals the Future of Family Travel

Vituoso® Reveals the Future of Family Travel
Virtuoso® has revealed what’s trending in family travel this summer vacation season. Virtuoso surveyed its global advisors to determine the leading destinations for families and the influence Generation Z has over travel decisions (hint: Gen Z is the new force in the industry).

Family-Travel Search Trends: Most Popular Dates and Keywords

Family-Travel Search Trends: Most Popular Dates and Keywords
A report based on US Microsoft Bing search data shows that online searches related to family travel tend to peak in the spring as people start planning their summer vacations. Searches related to family travel jump in April, especially on mobile phones. Desktop and tablet searches also increase in the spring, but peak in the early summer.

The New York Times Shines a Spotlight on Family Travel

The New York Times Shines a Spotlight on Family Travel
Last month, The New York Times focused its attention on family travel in a collection of articles, including:
* How Do Kids See the World on a Family Trip?
* Family Lodging for Part-Time Nature Seekers
* How to Entertain Children on the Road

Then and Now: Why Family Travel’s Never Been Better

Then and Now: Why Family Travel’s Never Been Better
Travel has never been so kid-friendly, says Lonely Planet. Long gone are in-flight entertainment systems limited to one communal screen, museums with all their fascinating wares behind glass, and adult-only dining at fancy restaurants. Here are five reasons to be envious of today’s young explorers.

The Many Reasons Why I’m Thankful I Travel with My Family

The Many Reasons Why I’m Thankful I Travel with My Family
Tackling motherhood sans rose-tinted glasses, this columnists tells her personal experiences like they are. In this case, it’s about how she travels with her young daughter not because she wants her daughter to have memories, but as a way to remember what it means to be a family.

18 Family Vacations To Take Before Your Kids Turn 18

18 Family Vacations To Take Before Your Kids Turn 18
Before your kids start taking spring break trips with their college friends, travel with them and share the wonders of the world. Studies show that family vacations can be good for children’s emotional growth and even help them get better grades. Here are 18 trips to take with your kids before they turn 18.

7 Ways to Save for and Plan an Affordable Family Vacation

7 Ways to Save for and Plan an Affordable Family Vacation
Affordable family travel doesn't have to be a fairytale. If family travel is important, then prioritize it. To make it work, restructure your family budget and became strategic with how you spend while on vacation. Here’s one family’s tips on how to make it work.

Targeting the Multigen Travel Market with All-Inclusives

Targeting the Multigen Travel Market with All-Inclusives
How do you book a vacation for a group and please every traveler, from infants and children to teens, adults and seniors? One popular option is all-inclusive resorts, especially in the Caribbean or Mexico, thanks to an expanding range of property offerings for every age, interest and desire.
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.

Denali's Fun and Family-Friendly Winter Activities
Here's how families can best experience the winter wonderland of Alaska's most popular national park.

Bring the Kids on This Sea of Cortez Expedition Cruise
For junior naturalists and future explorers, an expedition cruise with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic can’t be beat.

The Newest Kid-Friendly Cruise Ships
There are more family friendly cruise ships on oceans and rivers than ever before.
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