Words by Jennifer Lee Gunson
Just about every advisor knows the importance of food in a travel context, but what about selling clients on travel for a better diet or longevity? To shine a spotlight on the health benefits of travel, Collette has launched Your Health with Joan Lunden, a 12-part series. Canadian Traveller, in partnership with Collette, invites you to discover how to sell travel to your food-focused client.
To market, to market
Exploring local markets not only places travellers amid a flurry of cultural hubbub but awakens their palate to new flavours and unique ingredients. Advisors might encourage clients to add a cooking class which includes a market visit to their itinerary. Visitors will be not be disappointed in the worldly knowledge they glean while learning about exotic produce and spices, from lemongrass in Vietnam to anise in India to turmeric in Morocco.
After immersing themselves in a market, travellers will gain a new perspective on how to best select produce or proteins and prepare those ingredients. They will leave with fresh meal ideas to share a taste of their trip with loved ones back home.
The best souvenir one can acquire is an extended palate and a newfound awareness of how to live a healthier life.
Blue Zone vitality
Entice clients to travel to what are called "Blue Zones" to learn a thing or two about vitality.
There are five places in the world where people tend to live longer than the national average: Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece) and Loma Linda, California.
Residents in these areas credit their long lifespans to consuming plant-based diets and they typically stop eating when they are eighty per cent full. They spend more time eating together as a community, consuming a variety of cuisine and diners don't cut out food groups that may be perceived as unhealthy.
Introducing clients to the Blue Zone regions can open their eyes to new ways of cooking and consuming. Take the lessons learned and put them in your travel knapsack of knowledge.
Inspired by: Greece
Travellers in Greece can indulge in one of the healthiest diets in the world. The Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fresh fish, lean meat, whole fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy whole grains and oils. Regularly consuming these foods can lead to longevity and a lower chance of developing heart and chronic diseases. Those travelling Greece should make like the locals and devour the health benefits associated with fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Fish protein is high in omega-3 fatty acids which helps reduce inflammation and strengthen skin. Olive oil is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet and can be used as a substitute for butter or other fats. Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants and can reduce signs of aging. Learning to eat like a Greek can be a nutritional lesson with lifelong benefits.
Find foodie-focused inclusions on Collette's Exploring Greece and Its Islands itinerary.
Inspired by: Japan
Fermented foods are a staple of the Japanese daily diet. The age-old tradition of preserving food adds massive nutritional value and health benefits for the gut, brain and body. Fermented foods introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help the balance of bacteria in your stomach.
Travellers will likely be familiar with Japan's most famous example of fermented food: soy sauce. What might surprise is that soy sauce is full of antioxidants and actually aids with digestion. No one should ever feel guilty adding an extra splash to flavour their meal because it could prove beneficial to extending their health.
As clients eat their way through Japan they might also keep an eye out for other fermented foods: miso and natto (both are also soy derivatives), tsukemono (vegetables pickled in vinegar) and umeboshi (plums).
Find foodie-focused inclusions on Collette's Cultural Treasures of Japan itinerary.
Your Health With Joan Lunden