New and burgeoning trends are dramatically shaping the world of incentive travel — and one of the most notable is sustainability. Not wanting to celebrate their successes at the cost of the planet, today’s incentive travelers are increasingly looking for accommodations and attractions that limit their impact on the environment and make a positive difference for local communities.
When creating incentive trips, planners are starting to look at destinations that share these values. Canada is one country that’s at the forefront of offering experiences that protect and preserve the environment, community, and culture. Here's a glimpse into a few sustainable experiences from coast to coast to coast.
Protecting the environment
The ultra-remote Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort is a leader when it comes to environmental sustainability. Set amongst the fjords of British Columbia’s fragmented mainland coast, the resort is tucked into the 21-million-acre Great Bear Rainforest and offers world-renowned wildlife, culinary, and wellness experiences.
When guests stay at Nimmo Bay, they can feel confident in knowing that they are minimizing their ecological footprint, thanks to a number of innovative initiatives. This includes a hydropower system that is fueled by streams and waterfalls — which not only provides clean drinking water but also up to 80% of the resort’s power needs. Nimmo Bay also uses floating docks in lieu of deforested land.
Celebrating local cultures
Canada has many travel experiences that raise awareness of local cultures — and are sure to inspire teams. For instance, a trip to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in the Yukon provides a rare opportunity to connect with an ancient culture in the traditional land of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. Top performers can gather in cedar-clad longhouses along the banks of the Yukon River, feast on traditional cuisines, and listen to stories of the ancient civilization through traditional song and dance.
Additionally, at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in British Columbia, groups can watch as dancers perform a colorful dance, enjoy a gourmet menu inspired by First Nation’s traditional fare, and celebrate the heritage and culture of the Squamish and Lil’wat People. Experiences like these play an important role in promoting socio-economic sustainability.
Strengthening local economics
Incentive trips in Canada also have the power to strengthen and revitalize local economies, ensuring a brighter world for future generations. At the luxurious Fogo Island Inn, located on Newfoundland’s Atlantic coast, 100% of operating surpluses are reinvested back into the community to help secure a sustainable future for Fogo Island.
What’s more, almost all of the furniture and furnishings inside the inn were designed and created right on Fogo Island. Sourcing materials close to home not only helps sustain the local economy; it also benefits the environment by reducing transportation distances.
Championing sustainable food practices
There's no question that Canada’s destinations deliver a flavourful experience, like at the infamous Fox Harb’r Resort in Nova Scotia. Top performers can enjoy the ultimate seafood adventure, from a private beach raw bar showcasing Canada’s oldest oyster farm to dinner right in the resort’s oceanside vineyard.
The best part? It's made with sustainable practices. The team at Fox Harb’r plants and grows approximately 50% of the produce served in its restaurants. They also make jam from local berry bushes, raise their own pheasants, and have two on-site Ocean Wise fish ponds — all of which help lessen the resort’s carbon footprint and reduce waste.
“Today’s travelers are looking for ways to make a positive impact on the world,” explains Jennifer Attersall, director of incentive travel at Destination Canada. “Canada has taken significant steps to help them in their quest to protect the environment, communities, and cultures. When groups have the chance to give back and create positive change, they feel proud, energized, and inspired, making their experience even more transformative.”
A brighter future
As environmental and socio-economic sustainability continues to be a major focus, it will be more important than ever for organizations to ensure that their high achievers are rewarded with experiences that don’t come at a cost. Thankfully, Canada has a wealth of experiences that deliver on the next generation of incentive experiences.
The Destination Canada Business Events team assists planners in bringing corporate, association, and incentive events to Canada. Contact our team for itinerary suggestions or learn more about Canada’s incentive programs here.