Family Matters

There's finally an organization to support the crucial family travel market By: Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro
Kenneth Shapiro

About a year ago, I spoke to Rainer Jenss, former publisher of National Geographic Kids, and he outlined his plan for a new travel organization. Called the Family Travel Association (FTA), the group’s mission would be “to inspire families to travel and advocate travel as an essential part of every child’s education.” 

One of the reasons Jenss wanted to create the FTA was that despite how important family travel is to the industry as a whole, there was no organization already supporting this niche. It seemed impossible to him that we have groups to promote so many other areas of the industry, but no trade organization dedicated to supporting and growing the No. 1 reason for travel.

I totally understood his surprise; it was the same reason we started Family Getaways five years ago. We realized that despite the importance of family travel, there was no other trade media dedicated to writing about it. From that moment on, family travel became our focus and passion.

As you can read in this issue’s cover story, “Under the Radar” (page 14), there is plenty of material to support this mission. In the story, we offer 10 off-the-beaten-path family travel experiences, and I’m willing to bet there’s something on our list that’s new to you. In fact, providing agents with new ideas is so basic to the mission of Family Getaways that we decided to continue it throughout next year. We’ll be running a new column, “Under the Radar,” in every future issue, featuring unique and little-known experiences for families. 

Speaking of next year, we are very proud of two other developments for 2015 at Family Getaways. First, we are changing the frequency of the publication and will be distributing it six times next year instead of four. Second, we just launched a monthly e-newsletter that will bring you great family travel stories throughout 2015 and beyond. You can sign up here.

Neither of these developments would be possible without the support of our readers and advertisers, and we are extremely grateful to see that Family Getaways has struck a chord in our industry. I think many people share our belief that it is crucial to expose young travelers to all the world has to offer. We aim to fuel the desire to see the world among the next generation of travelers — thereby helping to protect and ensure the future of travel for us all.