Having been recognised as one of the best in the business by voters at the World Ski Awards, Breaking Travel News here chats with Shannon Exelby, general manager at Astra Falls Creek, to find out more about the luxurious property
Shannon Exelby: We are incredibly proud to accept the award – and every individual in our team shares in this success.
It takes passionate people to achieve such a remarkable standard and it is this passion, geared towards our vision and shared commitment, that makes Astra a success, not only in Australia but within the entire international ski industry community.
BTN: This is the fifth year in succession the property has taken the honour – what is it that makes it so special to voters?
SE: Our guests are always at the heart of what we do.
Astra is a sanctuary for a pilgrimage of return guests and that creates a real sense of family between staff and them.
The location is beautiful and combined with world class services, Astra provides a beautiful cocoon which motivates guests to become fully immersed in the piste, just outside our front door.
This is an experience that both guests and staff seek to be a part of.
BTN: How useful are the World Ski Awards when it comes to promoting the property to the global ski community?
SE: It is certainly an achievement that we like to hang our hat on.
Our guests are always celebrating and sharing in Astra’s successes.
There is a lot of advocacy from our client base and for those that have yet to experience Astra, the World Ski Awards represent the gold standard in ski industry experience, providing a glowing recommendation for the recipients.
BTN: Australia has opted to close its borders to international travel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Has domestic tourism made up for any shortfall? Is there a hope a vaccine could see a return to something like normal next year?
SE: That is the big question.
We were cut short this year due to Covid-19 state lockdowns and thankfully Australia has emerged from that quite well.
There has been strong government stimulus for the travel and hospitality industry over recent and forward months, and there is an overwhelming pent-up demand for domestic travel.
We expect demand to compound for winter 2021 with North American, European and Japan ski hills currently out of reach for Australians for an unspecified time.
We are confident demand will be there, knowing we have global skiers experiencing significant withdrawal and there is potentially a new market of first-time skiers searching for an alternative to overseas adventure.
The advantages of a short flight or car-ride, no jet lag, a friendly currency and Aussie hospitality will be compelling and drive a very strong winter season for us.
There is very positive news of a potential vaccine which suggests by June 2021, there will be pathways for Falls Creek to execute a successful season.
Find out more about visiting Astra Falls Creek on the official website.