Employee well-being has become a hot topic of conversation with companies increasingly trying to create a culture of ‘healthy habits’ among corporate travellers.Most meeting professionals have started considering ‘wellbeing during business travel’ as one of their highest priorities. Over three-quarters of respondents in a recent survey conducted by IMEX indicated wellbeing during business travel was ‘important’ with 79.5% of hosted buyers, 78% visitors and 83% exhibitors saying it was a priority?
While the stats may prove obvious, the challenge for planners lies in how to best cater for the corporate travellers and their specific ‘health’ needs?This, says Henk Graaff Managing Director of SW Africa, is where the frustration for planners and buyers often creeps in. “No single person is alike. Added to this, one also often needs to contend with the generational divide. For some travellers, an exercise and healthy eating programme incorporated in their travels will suffice, while others will want a more focused schedule with a balanced mix of work and play.”As much as it may seem like a hopeless task to be everything to everyone, Henk stresses there is actually opportunity within the challenge.
If there are two things people will agree on is that travelling is fun and that ‘healthy’ should never be boring. And, this is where the opportunity presents itself for planners and buyers – free reign to find innovative ways to cater for travellers.
Here are some tips to get in shape and cater for the needs of your business travellers:
Be destination smart:
Nobody wants to be bound to their hotel at a destination, people want to explore and broaden their horizons. Do your research and find activities that will enlighten your travellers and leave them relaxed and inspired. The key is to incorporate a variety of options.
Make sure your venue offers exciting colourful tables with fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt, fresh veggies and veggie dips. If possible give your travellers a cultural experience by incorporating traditional (and of course healthy) cuisine.
Challenge your delegates:
Let your travellers get active and competitive. Consider setting up challenges such as giving them a pedometer and rewarding the team member with highest daily mileage. Or, consider organising ‘networking’ sessions where travellers embark on walking excursions to discuss important matters or have a team building exercise where travellers partake in a social responsibility exercise giving back to the local community.
Pamper tired travellers:
One definite perk of travelling is the indulgence in luxury that you would not necessarily consider treating yourself to at home. Spoil your travellers. This does not have to be a bank-breaking affair as the new meaning of luxury is more about authenticity, uniqueness and social value, than fancy experiences. A good idea is to send out a questionnaire to travellers asking them what experiences they would like to indulge in on their next trip.
Don’t underestimate the value of alone time:
Allow your travellers some time and space to do their own thing. Team building and group activities are fun – to a point. Treat people like the individuals they are and give them the opportunity to explore or unwind at their own pace and preference.
About SW Africa
With over 20 years’ experience and destination knowledge, South African-based SW Africa offers tailor-made corporate and leisure travel, meetings and incentive travel solutions throughout Southern Africa.We have built our business around our burning passion for Southern Africa, its people, animals and landscapes, offering prompt, accurate, creative and relevant travel solutions and personalized service to ensure our travellers return home having enjoyed the ultimate, unforgettable journey.