For planners looking to incorporate nature and wellness into their rewards programs, look north. Canada offers vast natural beauty, unique activities and limitless options for exclusive experiences designed to impress your team. From forest bathing to luxurious spa treatments to restorative cliffside yoga, here are some of the spectacular adventures that await.
Go forest bathing in British Columbia
Studies show that stress hormones drop significantly when you're walking in the forest. This is just one reason your guests will feel rejuvenated while wandering through the 250 mile Great Bear Rainforest, which encompasses a quarter of the world's coastal temperate rainforest along more than six million hectares on British Columbia's coast. Rejoice in the stillness of the lush landscape while surveying your surrounding for local wildlife. Guests might spot sea otters, dolphins and the mysterious white Kermode "Spirit Bear." Your top performers can also travel through glacial fjords by boat, to soak up the natural hot springs, float down a crystalline river or go heli-hiking in the Bella Coola Valley.
Bronwyn Slade, director of sales with Pacific Destination Services, suggests booking groups into the Klahoose Wilderness Resort, a luxury Indigenous eco-resort in the heart of Desolation Sound on the Homfray Channel. Here, the fresh forest air promotes wellness and vitality. One of the most memorable excursions offered is a grizzly bear tour by boat, hosted by an Indigenous guide. Covered viewing areas ensure guest safety.
"The day begins with a magnificent journey through the Salish sea and First Nations lands, ripe with history and tradition," says Slade. "In the Great Bear Rainforest, grizzly bears can often be seen in their natural habitat. Listen closely and you will hear their muffled breaths mingle with the sounds of rushing water. It is an exhilarating and truly amazing spectacle."
Try cliffside yoga, hiking or kayaking in Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy
It's easy to be present in the moment when you're surrounded by spectacular panoramic views. This is just one of many realization your guests will have during an unforgettable adventure in the Bay of Fundy, which offers world-class kayaking and hiking on the towering cliffs, with iconic lighthouses dotting the horizon.
"The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world and is a must-see when you visit Nova Scotia," says Marina Atwell, president and owner of Velocity Event & Destination Management.
Rising up from the shores of the Minas Basin, Blomidon Provincial Park is renowned for its spectacular views, 600-foot-high cliffs, abundant wildlife, and the world's highest tides washing its shores, adds Atwell. "A sunrise morning yoga class on Blomidon's red sandy beach with its majestic views is an experience like no other."
A light breakfast picnic followed by an invigorating hike on the spectacular Cape Split trail with its dramatic cliffs and mixed forests will further promote your group's vitality.
"At the peninsula tip, the trail opens into a meadow, revealing iconic sea stacks and basalt pinnacles carved by the power of the world's highest tides," adds Atwell. "Following the hike, a specially-prepared lunch at the Long Table Social Club, with is expansive deck and magnificent views of Scott's Bay, is guaranteed to fill not only the belly, but the heart with its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Simply unforgettable."
Top off the experience with a genuine East Coast glamping experience, complete with bonfire, s'mores and live music into the night.
You can also book a "tidally-timed" tour where guests walk the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks and learn how the Bay of Fundy's forces shaped the formations.
Soak up the sun on a mountain's peak in Alberta
For the perfect blend of invigoration and restoration, host your guests at Banff National Park, where there are wellness opportunities at every turn. Promote the release of natural endorphins as guests hike the short distance to the Tunnel Mountain Summit or the more challenging Sulphur Mountain Summit. On either hike, there are spectacular views of Banff and the Bow Valley. Sign up your group for a one-hour Ashtanga yoga session atop the Brewster Sulphur Mountain gondola for a memorable and relaxing experience, or enjoy a leisurely walk along Johnston Canyon's elevated catwalk, where guests can relax to the soothing sounds of the creek below.
Take your inner peace to new heights with the Rocky Mountains Heli-Yoga Experience, which includes a breathtaking tour of Banff’s towering peaks followed by a guided hike to an outdoor Hatha yoga class. Stretch, strengthen your core and center yourself — all overlooking a stunning mountain valley. An outdoor picnic then replenishes both body and mind.
Shed the stress on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fogo Island
With dramatic views of the North Atlantic from its private rooftop hot tubs, your guests will immediately unplug from everyday life while stargazing at the Fogo Island Inn, a design marvel set on one of Newfoundland and Labrador's stunning offshore islands. Exquisite views of sea, sky and stars at the easternmost edge of North America will both relax and re-energize your team. Following a lobster-boil dinner, they will learn about the island's unique outport culture through words and song around the storytelling circle. The inn's wood-fired saunas are the perfect place to hit pause after exploring some of the island's 120 miles of ancient footpaths and hiking trails, where guests can follow animal tracks into the mystical wilderness and spot caribou, whales, foxes and seabirds. Locals believe every trail tells a story about the soulfulness of Newfoundland and Labrador's remote landscape where nature and culture merge as one.
Revitalize at remote oceanside spas in British Columbia
At the oceanside Nimmo Bay Resort, teams can experience the healing powers of wild nature. The journey to this intimate family-owned eco-wilderness lodge is part of the adventure, since there are no roads: Your guests will arrive via chartered sea plane or helicopter onto the Broughton Archipelago, nestled amongst British Columbia's fjords. Soak in a hot tub beside waterfalls to soothe the spirit, as the surroundings take on the rhythm of the rainforest. Sunrise yoga, kayaking the intertidal zone and picnicking atop a 10,000-year-old glacier all foster balance and connection with the natural world. Your guests will feel their tension melt away in a floating sauna or as they enjoy a floating firepit after the sun sets.
Treat your guests to time spent unwinding at a luxurious private oasis tucked into an archipelago on Canada's rugged West Coast. Sonora Resort — accessible from Vancouver by helicopter or seaplane — is a remote paradise offering cross-cultural experiences designed to promote mind and body wellness, and relaxation. Providing serenity through luxurious spa treatments, hot tubs and mineral pools, this sanctuary also offers peaceful meditation areas facing the forest. A ceremonial welcome and storytelling sessions in the property's traditional Coast Salish First Nation cedar longhouse add to the unique incentive experience.
Find bliss along the ocean shores of Clayoquot Sound
Set among new- and old-growth forest, the secluded Healing Grounds Spa at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island offers a physical and spiritual retreat, along with a variety of signature treatments to rejuvenate body and soul. Designated a UNESCO protected Biosphere Reserve, Clayoquot Sound consists of many ecosystems thriving in harmony, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the silence on a stretch of sand, or take in an open-air yoga or stretching class. The spa has a waterfront massage tent, a meditation room, cedar hot tubs and a sauna, plus miles of oceanside and forest trails to explore the unspoiled landscape.
Escape to the beaches of Prince Edward Island
Island time. It's a different way of life that celebrates unhurried travel and mindful contemplation. On the crescent-shaped Prince Edward Island, the soft sands have a reddish hue, thanks to the iron-rich soil, and sometimes it "sings" underfoot at Basin Head Provincial Park, where quartz and silica mixed into the sand make it squeak. With more than 90 oceanside spots to explore, guests can discover hidden coves or wander through seaside villages. Adventures like these on the Atlantic Coast can have a big impact on health and well-being.
Thanks to its wide variety of stunning landscapes and wealth of natural offerings, Canada makes for an inspiring destination for any incentive group passionate about health and wellness.
Canada offers a vast range of incentive experiences, for those passionate about wellness, gastronomy, adventure and more. Learn more about Canada's Signature Incentive Experience Collection here.
Create a truly memorable incentive program by tapping into the expertise and creativity of the Destination Canada's Business Events team. Learn how your Canada experts can help tailor a program to your group's specific interests and needs by visiting businesseventscanada.ca.
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