Having been honoured with a top title at the World Ski Awards, Breaking Travel News here chats to Sergey Khvorostyany, deputy general director for international relations at Rosa Khutor, about how it feels to have won
Sergey Khvorostyany: I think it is a sense of satisfaction from a well-done job.
The resort traditionally hosts the Rosa Run festival in May, on one of the days of which the participants compete in the vertical kilometre discipline, running a distance with increase in the altitude of more than a kilometre.
The distance begins under the hot southern sun at the Mountain Olympic Village and it ends at the top of Rosa Peak where there is still snow.
Of course, this requires commitment, not only at a distance, but also a lot of effort during preparation for the competition – this is the same.
At Rosa Khutor, we strive every day to respond to requests of the most demanding guests both from Russia and from more than 100 foreign countries.
We host about two million tourists annually.
You stand on the top of Rosa Peak, see endless spaces, snow-capped mountains, the Black Sea, breathe in the fresh mountain air and feel that this award gives you renewed strength for the next victories.
BTN: This is the eighth year in succession the resort has taken the title – just what is it that makes it so special in the eyes of the ski tourism community?
SK: I think that answering this question, we should start with the mission of the resort: we are creating a comfortable and safe space for recreation, sports and a healthy lifestyle in a unique place in Russia - at Rosa Khutor.
We are the only one resort in Russia that operates in accordance with a sustainable development program which covers seven key areas of work - unique experiences, nature conservation, energy efficiency, waste management, partnership and cooperation, historical heritage and care for the future generation.
The resort constantly demonstrates innovative approaches and sets the trend for development of the entire ski tourism industry in Russia, being an excellent example of the effective use of the Olympic legacy.
Despite the difficulties of this year, we were able to offer our guests new hiking trails, we opened the first passenger mountain helicopter centre in Russia, held the first German hiking business weekend.
Besides, a very important event took place - the third international conference on Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Russian Perspective.
In the coming winter season, in December, we will delight our guests with new D-line Doppelmayer cable car with cabins for ten passengers and a maximum capacity of 2,400 people per hour.
This will make skiing in the resort more comfortable.
Make sure to come! I am sure that you will feel the incredible atmosphere of the resort and will want to return to this wonderful place.
BTN: How useful are the World Ski Awards when it comes to promoting Rosa Khutor to the ski tourism market?
SK: It is very important for me to provide information quickly and efficiently about the resort, its strategic opportunities, values and priorities.
The award is one of the most effective ways to establish partnership relations with various industry actors - industry professionals, resorts, sport clubs, hoteliers and travel companies.
The World Ski Awards are a quality mark indicating that the resort is constantly evolving, providing guests with new services and responding to the challenges of the modern world.
I am sure that for a large number of tourists, especially foreign ones, the World Ski Awards are one of the defining moments when deciding on a trip to a particular place.
For example, winning this award allowed us to intensify our partnership with Kitzbühel and a number of Austrian companies, and we received a boost of Austrian guests.
I would like to note that in March, the second Austrian Business Weekend was successfully held at the resort.
For us, the World Ski Awards is a signature that tells hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign professionals in the sphere of tourism and ski industry that Rosa Khutor not only meets the highest standards but also, being a leader, sets the vector of strategic development of the entire ski tourism industry in Russia.
One more important aspect, the ReStart program, thanks to which the industry professionals have an opportunity to share their work experience in difficult conditions and to learn the best examples of the industry leaders development from all over the world.
Rosa Khutor took part in this program, considering it an important aspect of our international activities, certifying the role of Rosa Khutor in the development of the world ski tourism industry.
Of course, for me the award ceremony is also an opportunity to meet my colleagues and friends.
I am looking forward to these meetings at which I receive a large supply of new knowledge and ideas.
This is a great privilege for which I sincerely thank the World Ski Awards team.
BTN: How would you describe the mood in Russian ski hospitality as we go into the 2020 season? Has a potential vaccine for Covid-19 lifted spirits?
SK: This year is tough for the completely global community and global market space.
However, this is a reason to think about new travel products, services and routes.
The pandemic has given everyone the opportunity to reconsider their rhythm of life, to stop and reconsider their values and priorities.
Each time period can be used positively - good news is always appreciated at any time.
We had a good summer season; the occupancy of our hotels was more than 85 per cent.
In practice, we have confirmed the research results according to which people after a long period of self-isolation literally need a reset.
Many came to rest in the mountains, as it is the best place to recharge, restart, pay attention to physical activity on fresh air.
And we expect the same situation in the coming winter season.
Almost all hotels are booked for the entire season, including into March.
Of course, we strictly follow the requirements of the authorities to anti-epidemic measures and we are confident that the vaccine will be a significant help for a quick return to normal life.
The synergy of the Black Sea climate and the Aibga Mountains make Rosa Khutor an unforgettable place.
Guests can stroll down the Mzymta River promenade and watch the sunset after a day of skiing and recreation.
There is also a chance to discover delectable local cuisine, meet locals and feel the energy of our local community.
Find out more on the official website.