Today Omni Hotels & Resorts announced the results of a travel wellness survey of business and leisure travelers nationwide. The poll determined that, when it comes to dining and drinking habits, travelers’ waistbands often expand along with their frequent flyer miles.
According to the results, an overwhelming number of respondents (seven in 10) indicate they routinely gain weight while traveling – this, despite extra efforts to maintain healthy dietary habits on the road. More than one-third (36%) of business travelers pack snacks from home in an attempt to eat nutritiously while traveling. In addition, almost two-thirds (62%) of travelers also drink more water during their trips, a practice long-known for its many health benefits.
However, these efforts may be offset by other less-diligent routines. For example, fully half of all travelers (52%) admitted to the high-calorie custom of more freely hitting the sauce while hitting the road. Other findings from the travel wellness report determined:
- Packing More Than Luggage: Despite more than four in 10 of all travelers claiming to have the same eating practices while away as they do at home (44%), a whopping 70% of people traveling for business and leisure combined are packing on the pounds. The report indicates they gain anywhere from “just a couple of pounds” (37%), to “more than five pounds” (16%), to so much weight they will need “to hit the gym when they get home” (17%). People traveling for business are the most likely to overeat (38%).
- Wetting Their Whistles: While two-thirds (62%) of all travelers drink more water on the road, almost one-third (29%) consider themselves “habitual hydrators,” chugging down bottled water at hotels and airports. The half of travelers (52%) who enjoy more adult beverages while traveling do so to take advantage of generous expense accounts (33%) or to sneak a nip “because they are not allowed to at home” (18%).
- Just Skip It: Omni’s travel wellness report also found that about one-fourth of all travelers typically skip a meal when traveling (24%). People taking combined business-and-leisure trips are the most likely to skip a meal (30%), while leisure travelers are significantly more likely than business travelers to skip a meal when alone (34% vs. 24%, respectively). Leisure travelers also are the most likely to eat less healthy when alone (23%).
Food for Thought: Most travelers (62%) eat with another person/other people during trips, which may signal trouble for the other person’s pocketbook. Almost half (48%) of people combining business and leisure trips admitted to indulging and ordering something more expensive when someone else is picking up the tab. Separately, 37% of travelers don’t consider finances when eating on the road, whether dining out or ordering room service. When it comes to room service, a slight majority (42%) think in-room dining is easy and convenient; one in five (21%) love it because they get to eat in their beds.
To produce the travel wellness report, Omni Hotels & Resorts queried more than 500 high-income business and leisure travelers across the country. Working with Omni’s Nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, R.D. – a leading authority on nutrition, a James Beard award-winning chef, and nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser – the luxury hotel brand developed the survey as part of its commitment to anticipating the evolving wellness needs of its guests.
Leading the Travel Wellness Movement
“Helping our guests stay healthy while on-the-go has long been a focus of Omni Hotels & Resorts and we are known for being at the forefront of nutritious and delicious culinary programing,” said Tom Santora, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales, Omni Hotels & Resorts.
Omni Hotels was among the first in the hospitality industry to transition to zero grams trans-fat cooking oil. It also was the first American hotel brand to institute the exclusive use of cage free eggs. In 2011, Omni began offering gluten-free breakfast buffet stations at all of their locations and last year it rolled out gluten-free snacks from Hail Merry® including seasoned nuts from various regions of the country. The company also provides complimentary bottled water is a benefit for members of its Select Guest loyalty program.
“It’s gratifying to see the survey results and know Omni Hotels & Resorts is already doing so many things right to help people live a balanced lifestyle when they are trekking across the country,” said Santora.
Forberg Exemplifies Omni’s Continued Travel Wellness Leadership
The most recent example of the company’s wellness efforts is its “Healthy Travel” video series, narrated by Nutritionist Forberg and featuring tips to help all travelers maintain healthier eating and exercise practices. In addition, earlier this year as part of its award-winning Sensational Kids program, Omni Hotels & Resorts unveiled a redesigned Omni Kitchen Kids backpack brimming with family-friendly health and nutrition themed games and treats to promote wholesome eating during family vacations.
Despite efforts of companies like Omni Hotels & Resorts, finding in-transit healthy food choices remains a challenge for road warriors. The poll showed more than one-third of business travelers pack their own good-for-you goodies to eat while on trips (36%).
“As the Omni travel wellness report shows, it can be difficult to make smart dietary and lifestyle choices when traveling, so a little advanced planning can help people stick with their good habits,” said Forberg. “I recommend following the example of the one-third of business travelers in our survey. Pack a few small, nutritious and non-perishable snacks – like a piece of fruit, whole-grain cereal or trail mix – to stay energized and resist the temptation to nibble on junk food.”
Forberg offers this recipe for an easy, healthy and savory trail mix snack that can be made ahead of time: Trail Mix Recipe.
Omni’s partnership with Forberg is another example of Omni’s commitment to providing guests with healthy dining options. From Omni’s award-winning restaurants to in-room dining, Forberg has worked closely with Omni chefs to create wholesome and delicious menu selections. That may be why Omni guests have come to rely on the luxury brand for nutritious dining choices, like the 50% of travelers in the survey who are traveling for business and leisure combined and who consider hotels the best place to find healthy food on the road.
For more information or to book accommodations, visit www.omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni. Travelers or media may also follow Omni Hotels & Resorts at facebook.com/omnihotels and Twitter.com/OmniHotels