CVBs Help Visitors Take Time Out for Self-Care

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CVBs Help Visitors Take Time Out for Self-Care

By Blair Potter | Jun 22, 2020

Maintaining personal wellness has been a challenge for many of us since the coronavirus pandemic began. Most gyms and fitness centers were temporarily closed, and many people still aren’t comfortable visiting them right now in places where they’ve reopened.

So, where does one look for wellness inspiration in times such as these? A CVB, of course. These organizations know all there is to know about their home base destinations, so why not be wellness experts as well?

Retreating Through Meditation

The DuPage (Ill.) CVB recently came up with a practical way for people mostly stuck at home to focus on wellness—a free, six-part virtual meditation series in partnership with the Science of Spirituality (SOS) International Meditation Center. An experienced facilitator helped participants manage stress and anxiety during each installment of “DuMore Meditating: Meditation for Healthy Living.”

“There is a connection to the mind, body and spirit, and these times have been challenging for us all,” says Beth Marchetti, the CVB’s executive director. “Meditation is a way to relieve stress related to the uncertainty we all are experiencing in some shape or form. Meditation takes you to a place where you can retreat from the world. Now, more than ever, it is important to center ourselves, to relax and refresh and find that healthy life balance through the transformative powers of meditation.”

Healthy by Nature

She says the “DuMore DuPage” brand highlights the fact that DuPage is one of the healthiest counties in Illinois.

“Our offerings in pursuit of wellness are abundant. The connection to nature along the hundreds of miles of trails in DuPage County forest preserves, the Morton Arboretum, Cantigny Park, the Illinois Prairie Path and other outside spaces and wellness initiatives are certainly in line with our brand,” Marchetti says. “The partnership with the SOS International Meditation Center located in Lisle is just another opportunity to provide community resources and to remind residents and, eventually, guests and small meeting attendees that DuPage is an ideal place to find centering and balance.”

She says SOS is also the host sponsor of Veggie Fest, one of the largest vegetarian food and wellness festivals in North America, and the CVB is partnering with Veggie Fest to offer education on healthier food options (a series of cooking classes is in development). Another wellness partnership for the CVB is with Real Rides, offering fun, engaging and informative rides in the county.

“Meditation is a way to relieve stress related to the uncertainty we all are experiencing in some shape or form.”

Marchetti says attracting the drive market will be a focus going forward, as DuPage County is within a day’s drive of nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population. And wellness will be a key component.

“The CVB’s regional campaigns will capitalize on pent-up demand, outdoor offerings and the best of urban sophistication yet small-town charm,” she says. “These efforts will help position DuPage for growth over the next two years. Without a doubt, breaks, fitness, yoga, outdoors and other healthy offerings will be presented by our partners.”

Tom David, executive vice president and chief sales officer for San Francisco Travel, says the city was named “Healthiest Place to Live in the United States” by Wallethub earlier this year.x

Wellbeing Resources: Supporting the wellbeing of our meeting and event planner community.

“Health and wellness is as much a part of our lifestyle as the fresh ocean air and sustainable local seafood,” he says, noting that this focus on wellness has been just as acute since the arrival of the coronavirus. “San Francisco was one of the first cities to take dramatic steps to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. During this time, we’ve been sharing different ways for people to have a little bit of San Francisco in their lives, even if they can’t travel here right now. Taking time for self-care is like giving yourself a break from the stress of this unusual situation.”

San Francisco Travel has recently been promoting do-from-home wellness opportunities offered by local providers, from Zoom workouts to casual morning yoga rituals. Examples include twice-a-day free workouts posted as Instagram stories by Barry’s Bootcamp, which has four locations in San Francisco; 75-minute classes by Outdoor Yoga SF with Julianne Aiello, who moved her practice from San Francisco’s Baker Beach to the shores of Bali; and classes such as “Wisdom Within,” “Cultivating Calm & Resiliency” and “Freedom from Fear” from San Francisco-based meditation studio Within.

Safe Meeting Spaces

Of course, the health and safety of attendees who will soon be visiting hotels and meeting venues again is of the utmost importance to CVBs right now, with constantly updated local, state and federal guidance to follow for sanitization, social distancing and more.

“Things like grab-and-go food and beverages, touchless room service, limits to the number of people on an elevator at any given time and other preventative and social distancing measures will be a common practice,” Marchetti says.

“Health and wellness is as much a part of our lifestyle as the fresh ocean air and sustainable local seafood.”

David says that while the Moscone Center and many other venues are closed right now, there is lots of activity going on as ways to keep visitors safe and healthy are developed.

“The guidelines we are working on include social distancing during arrival into the building as well as in meeting rooms; contactless registration; enhanced cleaning with electrostatic sprayers, touchless hand sanitizers, wiping all surfaces and all employees in personal protective equipment; extensive food and beverage protocol; and many more.”

Kimber Foster, director of marketing and brand management for the Grapevine (Texas) CVB, says an accreditation process is important for protecting visitors going forward.

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“The CVB is championing the process to allow all Grapevine hotel partners to pursue the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation,” she says. “GBAC STAR—an outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation—is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for bio-risk situations. The program establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.”

But cities and venues can only protect residents and visitors up to a certain point. The rest is up to us.

“Please continue to follow the preventative safety guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, which include staying home if you’re not feeling well, washing your hands upon entering buildings and numerous times throughout the day and maintaining proper physical distancing from other individuals—and consider wearing face coverings while in public and carrying hand sanitizer,” Foster says.

Photo: Villa Park, Park District, DuPage CVB

 

Author

Blair Potter
Blair Potter

Blair Potter is managing editor for The Meeting Professional. He likes toys and collects cats (or is it the other way around?).