Media Only, November 11, 2002: Families Receive Personal Travel Planning Consultation Via FTF's New Trip Planning Application
New York, NY – FamilyTravelForum.com, the Web’s largest family-supported network of travelers with children, has launched the next generation travel resource in time for the holiday season. With its “Ask For Advice” function, families request personal assistance online (or by email, mail or phone) and receive answers on everything from kid-friendly itineraries to foreign pediatricians from FTF’s staff and contributing experts.
The recent expansion of FamilyTravelForum.com’s research library, more than one thousand articles on family-friendly destinations; niche markets (grandparents, single parents, special needs travelers, etc); parenting tips; resorts; gear reviews and more, will better assist families in planning future journeys and reunions.
“The past year has brought enormous change to many aspects of our lives, including family priorities and the realities of travel with children,” notes publisher John Manton.
Current research supports this claim:
- 52% of all leisure trips taken by Americans in 2001 involved family and/or family events (NFO Plog
- Domestic US business travel with children has increased by 20.6% in the last eight years (TIA)
- 33% of leisure travelers say “children’s activities” drive their accommodation decisions (Insight Express)
- 18% say they would alter travel plans to obtain discounted children’s air fares (Forrester)
- 11% of travelers polled are flying less to avoid the hassles of airport security (Orbitz)
- More than 61 million US households will book travel online in 2002 (Forrester)
“Parents have a great need to connect with family, meld business with vacation and accommodate children’s desires,” Manton explains, “while respecting a budget and reducing travel hassles to a minimum. That’s why FTF is now using innovative technology to support family travelers on a one-to-one basis.”
FTF’s new “Travel Planners” membership gives consumers access to the FTF staff, travel discounts provided by FTF’s “Friends of Family Travel” partners, and an exclusive family password for website access, priced at only $9.95 for three months. The upgraded e-FTF electronic bulletin, available free to the site’s 45,000 users, delivers travel features, events calendars, safety tips, family travel deals and other news each month.
“Successful family travels result from thorough preparation, which is why FTF emphasizes sound advice,” adds Mr. Manton. After consultation, families ready to book are referred to FTF’s Travel Industry Associates, pre-screened agents and tour operators, or to ASTA to locate a family travel specialist. In a related expansion for 2003, FTF will launch Family Travel Forum Consulting (FTFc) aimed at the travel industry, to share intelligence, consumer preferences, state-of-the-art children’s programming ideas, marketing expertise and “sound advice” to achieve success in the family market.
The independent, award-winning Family Travel Forum has served a global network of travelers with children since 1996. Following awards from the National Parenting Center and Conde Nast Traveler magazine, FamilyTravelForum.com received the prestigious 2002 Forbes Best of the Web award, one of 16 web sites to be honored as a “Forbes Favorite” from the 3,000 sites reviewed by the magazine’s staff.
To join Family Travel Forum or subscribe to the free e-FTF monthly bulletin, visit www.FamilyTravelForum.com, or contact Family Travel Forum at 891 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10025 (tel. 212/665-6124; [toll-free USA] 888/FT-FORUM or 888/383-6786; fax 212/665-6136.)
Have Kids, Still Travel !
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