“Better Meeting the Needs of Today’s Travelers”

May 3-5, 2013
The Hilton Orlando
Orlando, FL

On May 3-5, 2013, TMS Family Travel, along with our sponsors from the travel industries of Theme Parks (Disney, Universal, Legoland, SeaWorld), CVBs (Visit Orlando, Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, and Niagara Falls) Airlines (Southwest, JetBlue), Hotels (Hilton, Loews), Snow Resorts (Powdr Enterprises, Vail Resorts), Transportation (Go RVing, Mears Global), Vacation/Airline Packages (Trafalgar, GetGoing), Adventure/Eco (Morgan’s Rock, Trusted Adventure Alliance) and Public Relations (M Silver, Bennett & Co) came together for a private Summit at the Hilton Orlando.

The Summit brought together a small group of top tier family travel Media and PR Executives to participate in a “Think Tank” format. They heard the latest travel trends research and used it as a jump off point to discuss how to better meet the needs of the 21st century family travelers.

Amy Foster presented the latest research from Disney’s consumer insight team (Why do families vacation?), Jeffrey Eslinger DK Shifflet & Associates added to the data. Peter Yesawich from MMGY Global reported information from the Portrait of the American Traveler (the growing influence of kids in vacation planning, the multigenerational trend) as well as Neal McCord from Give Kids the World, the Voluntourism program and, finally, Mark Orwoll from American Express Publishing.

Trends, Research / Actionable Travel Data from sessions triggered off a dialogue between media (representing consumer needs) and sponsors from the trade – PR, airlines, hotels and attractions.

The latest initiatives which were developed from the “Think Tank” sessions will be shared with the masses and recommended to be used for the 2013 Summer Season.


Kyle McCarthy – Editor of Family Travel Forum & author of 14 travel guides
Eileen Ogintz – Editor of TakingtheKids.com, syndicated columnist, author
Joanne Vero – Producer, Travel Media Showcase


Jeffrey Eslinger - DK Shifflet & Associates

DKSA specializes in syndicated and custom market research exclusively for the travel and tourism industry. DKSA’s syndicated monthly tracking study called the DIRECTIONS� Travel Intelligence System provides the industry’s most complete travel data on U.S. residents and their travel worldwide. Jeffrey uses this information to provide strategic and tactical data analysis to destinations, associations, lodging, and airline clients.

Before joining DKSA, he was Manager, Customer Insight and Research, for US Airways where he was responsible for customer research across internal departments (Inflight, Dining & Cabin, Dividend Miles, etc.), and external partners (Star Alliance, U.S. Department of Commerce/OTTI). Prior to that position, he was the Research Director for Northstar Travel Media, publishers of Travel Weekly, Travel Age West, Meetings & Conventions Magazine as well as other titles. He has also held marketing and research positions at Citibank Private Bank and Standard & Poor’s in New York City.

Jeffrey has a B.A. in Communications (Marketing/Public Relations) from the University of Dayton and has completed graduate work in advertising and communications at Astor College, London, UK and in History and Political Science at the Austro-American Institute, Vienna, Austria. He is an active member of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) where he serves as an executive member of the board. He frequently presents at travel and tourism marketing conferences.

Amy Foster - Disney Destinations Marketing

Amy is Director, Consumer Insight for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. In this role, Amy oversees the development of insight-driven approaches to consumer targeting, strategy, creative and engagement decisions within Global Marketing and Sales/Travel Operations. Her team is responsible for enabling consumer-centric marketing and sales decisions by advocating for consumer perspectives.

Amy has over 20 years of marketing experience, including 17 with The Walt Disney Company at Disney Store, Disney Channel, and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. In her Orlando-based roles, she has led cross-functional teams responsible for developing key strategies and communication plans to drive growth for some of the world’s most visited family travel destinations.

Amy has an M.B.A from University of Dallas. She resides in Florida with her eight-year-old daughter.

Neal McCord - Give Kids The World

Shortly after graduating from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Speech-English/Communications, I accepted a summer position at Walt Disney World as a Steam Train Operator at Fort Wilderness. The next 31 years included management positions in Front Office, Guest Services, Housekeeping, Bell Services, Recreation, Concierge, Resort Room Operations, College Program Education Operations, etc. at numerous Disney Resorts, including the Contemporary, Polynesian, Caribbean Beach, Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Yacht and Beach, Wilderness Lodge, Pleasure Island, Typhoon Lagoon, BoardWalk, Wilderness Lodge, All Star, Disney Institute, Coronado Springs, and the Newport Bay Club and Hotel New York (Disneyland Paris).

I began my Give Kids The World career in 2006 as the Director of Operations. I then served as General Manager for three years, the Director of Facilities for three years, and have most recently been serving as the Director of Risk Management and Partnership Development.

Mark Orwoll - American Express Publishing

Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure and Executive Editor of American Express Publishing’s International Department, responsible for the editorial direction of 21 editions of Travel + Leisure, Departures, and Food & Wine around the world. Mark has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years.

Mark has written extensively for T+L (including family travel), was the magazine’s awardwinning “Smart Traveler” columnist, and currently blogs for travelandleisure.com. His freelance writing has appeared in USA Weekend, NBCNews.com, CNN.com, the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Magazine, and many other magazines and websites. Mark helped launch T+L’s first website, where he wrote a daily travel advice column called “Ask Mark.” In 2000 he published e-Travel (Macmillan), one of the first books about online travel planning.

Mark has appeared on TV nearly 600 times as a travel expert on all major networks and cable outlets. He was a regular on CNBC’s Power Lunch from 2003 to 2008, and has appeared on NBC’s Today dozens of times in the past 15 years, including on location in Las Vegas, Greece, and the French Riviera. Mark has been a guest speaker in the U.S. and abroad at numerous conventions and other industry functions.

Professional Affiliations: American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME); Fèdèration Internationale de la Presse Pèriodique (FIPP); Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels; Bronze Award, Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards, “Smart Traveler” (2011); Finalist/Honorable Mention, min Editorial & Design Awards, “Smart Traveler” (2010); Aegis and Telly awards, co-producer, NBC News Productions’ “The Next Destination”(2004). Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/markorwoll

Peter C. Yesawich - MMGY Global

Peter C. Yesawich is vice chairman of MMGY Global, America’s leading marketing, advertising and public relations agency serving travel, leisure and lifestyle clients. The agency represents clients in every category of the travel industry through offices across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

MMGY is an integrated marketing communications company that is known for its strategic thinking, breakthrough creativity and innovation in marketing practice. The firm’s Research & Brand Strategy Group is also regarded as one of the most respected sources of insights on the emerging travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans and coauthors the widely acclaimed Portrait of American TravelersSM survey with Harrison Group, LLC.

Yesawich is a frequent commentator on travel trends in such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and Business Week. He is also featured on the CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and BBC World television networks and National Public Radio. He serves as a featured columnist in several industry trade publications and has authored numerous articles on marketing and advertising strategy in professional journals. He is also a coauthor of Marketing Leadership in Hospitality published by Prentice Hall.

Listed in Who’s Who in America, Yesawich is the recipient of the World Travel Award from the American Association of Travel Editors, The Albert E. Koehl Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Silver Medal from the American Advertising Federation. He was also named one of the 25 Most Extraordinary Marketing Minds by HSMAI and is a former member of the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association.

Yesawich received three degrees from Cornell, including a doctorate in applied psychology, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Yale.

Media Attendees

  • Grace Cutler, Fox News Travel Editor
  • Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel
  • Mark Orwoll, Travel & Leisure
  • Chris Elliot, National Geographic Traveler
  • Amie O’Shaugnessy, Editor of CiaoBambino.com – Luxury & Europe Family Travel, Preferred Family Hotels
  • Jennifer Miner, The Vacation Gals (popular website for family and girlfriend travel)
  • Jyl Johnson Pattee, Editor MomItforward.com, Twitter Queen (the first to do Twitter Parties)
  • Lissa Poirot, Exec Editor FamilyVacationCritic.com, the TripAdvisor.com family brand
  • Lynn O’Rourke Hayes, Editor of FamilyTravel.com and columnist for Denver Post
  • Janelle Gordon, Hearst Digital
  • Laura Manske, Trendspotter & Freelance Journalist Women and Travel
  • Diana Rowe, USA Today’s 10Best.com


TMS Family Travel, along with the following sponsors, is proud to present “Better Meeting the Needs of Today’s Travelers”.