Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Hall.
Dave, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
AST started on a surfing trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the bright idea to open surfing resorts and hotels in this countries after a few amazing weeks of great waves. I partnered with some friends and my business partner who was our surf guide in Central America, which has been an amazing ride since 2009. As long time surfers it was an epic idea to leave the corporate world and use our expertise in logistics, sales and urge to travel to a new horizon in the hospitality world.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Working in 3rd world countries has been an insane ride, rarely do we ever have a perfect day. All our properties sit on the water so the salt air from the sea destroys our properties so the continued maintenance is a far cry from living a perfect dream. Corruption is huge, so getting permits in some countries you have to play the game shaking hands behind closed doors for a signature on several obstacles to sinking boats, wind, and rain torn roofs to AC units blowing out nonstop. It is a game and we usually chose heads when we flip the coin lol.
AST Adventures – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
AST Adventures is a surf and adventure travel company specializing in tropical destinations such as Central America, South Pacific, South America and Indonesia. We accommodate guests who have never surfed a day in their lives to the most advanced surfing pros of the world showing them some of the most amazing waves our area of operation provide.
We continue to seek out unknown surf and adventurous locations, such as Colombia our newest and most hidden jewel, rarely has anyone surfed the Pacific Coast of Colombia with the logistical challenge it takes to get this unreal remote location.
We pride ourselves on owning many properties and selecting our partner location that we can stamp our name on and trust they will take care of our guest as if it was our own operation. AST retains a 60% customer retention so we are very proud of this, not many companies can say they can retain 60%!
What sets us apart from our competition is from start of the booking process to the pick up in a 3rd world and ensuring customer satisfaction is the same throughout the world is our primary focus, which has rewarded us with over 200-300% growth year over year. When you come to an AST property to surf or adventure we will ensure you have an epic experience and if the waves are too small we are out drenched in the culture of the host country exploring off the grid location and localizing like a local.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I would have to say when clients as me to personally host them on trips and seeing the smiles on their faces for 7 days. You can’t be a tour provider behind a desk all the time, sooner or later you have to get dirty and ensure the voice behind the phone is there to engage with the customer base. Nobody knows the company better than the owner, so why not show your strength and knowledge of your operations and employees.
- Example 7 day Trip to El Salvador all inclusive: $1250.00 per week per guest
- Example 7 day Trip to Nicaragua all inclusive: $1350.00 per week per guest
- Example 7 day Trip to Bocas Del Toro, Panama all Inclusive: $1350 to $1500 per guest
- 12 Day Charter Boat to the Mentawai Island in Sumatra will run you about $3700 per guest
- 7 Night Fiji Experience at a 5 Star Resort $1950.00 per guest
- Website: www.astadventures.com
- Phone: 310-424-3530
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: astadventures
- Facebook: Adventure Sports Tours
Dave Hall, Ryan Graham and Gregoire Gyselinck