At its heart, our industry is about people. Thousands of talented, passionate people coming together to deliver safe and memorable holiday experiences for our guests. Positivity is part of the job description.
But it’s no secret we’ve been operating in a challenging environment these last 18 months, impacting many close friends and colleagues across the industry. Which is why during that first lockdown in Australia and New Zealand last year, my team at Norwegian Cruise Line got together to discuss how we could support our travel partners. A simple idea was born to help lift spirits and to celebrate our community.
That idea was Walk for Wellness, a grassroots initiative built on the recognition that sometimes, the simple act of going for a walk can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Born in October 2020 to mark Australian Mental Health Month, Walk for Wellness is a walking challenge and more. Our industry is renowned for coming together and connecting at events, conferences and famils. In lieu of those opportunities to connect face to face, we wanted to create a virtual platform to celebrate community, camaraderie and friendship. A space where we support each other, reconnect and celebrate each and every win, no matter how small.
Back in 2020, when Walk for Wellness first launched, we never thought it would be quite as necessary this year as it’s turned out to become.
We have been delighted with the response, with more than 1,000 agents across Australia and New Zealand registered to track their steps towards a combined goal of 100,000 kilometres – almost double the number who joined last year.
And because wellness means different things to different people, in 2021 we’ve incorporated some new elements, like a live-stream yoga class and an invitation to take a digital detox through our very first mindful colouring book for adults. It’s called Colour Your World and it’s filled with illustrations of the many destinations we can’t wait to explore again. You can request your complimentary copy of Colour Your World or download pages to print at home from NCL’s Marketing HQ here.
And travel again we will. Did you know that more than 90 per cent of Australians believe taking a holiday is vital for their mental health? And 94 per cent say their sense of excitement, satisfaction and anticipation began the moment they start planning a trip. What we want from our holidays has also changed on the back of the past 18 months, with 94 per cent of those planning to travel in the next year citing taking time out to enjoy living in the present moment – also known as ‘mindfulness’ – as a significant benefit of their intended travel plans.
These insights – and more – are part of a national survey Omnipoll conducted on NCL’s behalf, intended to show that no matter who you are or what you do for a living, travel itself plays a significant role in positively impacting all of our mindsets.
The time to travel once again is close. While we wait for borders to reopen, I hope you will join me in spending a little bit of time focusing on your own wellbeing. Get outside, clear your mind or spend time away from your technology with some old-fashioned colouring in. Enjoy the simple act of taking a walk and, most importantly, reach out and support each other.
This article was written by Ben Angell, vice president and managing director for the Asia Pacific at Norwegian Cruise Line.
Featured image source: Norwegian Cruise Line