Affecting daily diet and exercise routines, business travel can brutalize the health of tradeshow professionals. Minimizing that impact has become a priority.
Demonstrating to tradeshow professionals that eating healthy and staying fit in a faraway destination is possible is the City of Richmond, which is on the west coast of British Columbia in Canada.
“We know that choosing the perfect meeting destination can be daunting when there are so many variables to consider such as accessibility, affordability, off-site venues and activity options,” said Gayle Morris, director of sales, Tourism Richmond, a non-profit, membership-driven destination marketing organization (DMO). “Meeting planners also have to consider the health and wellness aspect of the event for the delegates, and that includes menu options for those with dietary restrictions, farm to fork freshness and soft-adventure options to keep delegates on the move.”
Richmond is rich in farm-fresh produce and seafood, healthy menu options, a mild coastal climate and indoor and outdoor pursuits. Within the city limits are 250 farms and Steveston Village, a historic home to Canada’s largest commercial fishing harbor. The locally grown produce and fresh fish from Steveston is featured on many menus in the city, from market stalls to fine dining restaurants.
Tradeshow professionals can pick produce from the garden, weave baskets from invasive weeds, bake bread milled from grains or forage for edible weeds and help cook their meal while at the 65-acre Terra Nova Rural Park, which balances farming, heritage, wildlife, conservation and recreational uses of the lands.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers a Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program while the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel offers a special Gluten Allergy Menu. Many city restaurants cater to guests with Celiac disease by offering gluten-free pastas or ice cream cones or dairy-free and sugar-free options. It’s easy to access to healthy tea and medicinal herbs due to Chinese cultural influences.
The Richmond Olympic Oval, used for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, features ice skating, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, a climbing wall with over 30 ascents and more to provide travelers with soft adventure. Facilities such as the 6 Pack Indoor Beach Centre and the Richmond Pro Badminton Centre are dedicated to their sport offerings year-round. The UBC Boathouse provides dragon boat lessons and rowing opportunities from a dock below the floating venue.
Also addressing wellness for travelers are organizations such as the American Cancer Society, which has created the “Meeting Well” planning tool that helps companies organize meetings and events with good health in mind.