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ANGOLA - Tourism

Nuno Neves

General Manager, InterContinental Luanda Miramar

Bio

Nuno Neves is the General Manager of InterContinental Luanda Miramar with extensive experience across business hotels, leisure hotels, and all-inclusive resorts, operations, food & beverage, and sales and marketing. He has worked in several countries including in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian. He holds a Swiss hotel management degree from Alpina Hotel Management School, Switzerland, and has attended several courses in PDP hotel management and others from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration in the US.

"InterContinental Luanda Miramar is an ever-evolving project."
TBY talks to Nuno Neves, General Manager of InterContinental Luanda Miramar, about hosting events, the new Luanda airport, and expansion plans.
InterContinental Luanda Miramar opened in November 2021. What changes and key milestones has the hotel gone through in this period?

InterContinental Luanda Miramar is an ever-evolving project. We currently have 200 rooms officially open with plans to open another 100 before the end of the year. We have also re-enhanced our F&B outlets. We started with Le Petit Choux at the lobby bar and have now established Curadoria and La Boqueria. We have also refurbished the sky lounge to hold more signature events. We now have dinner and dancing on Friday nights. People are now coming due to word of mouth. Our training has also paid off, and our team members are now more focused and service oriented than they were a year ago. In 2024, we will also work on some touch up and interior design projects in a few areas, including the corridors and minor areas in rooms. The owners and IHG are extremely pleased with this growth process, and we are becoming known in Luanda and internationally as the hotel to visit for business meetings, events, and even conferences. We even receive important delegations and heads of state.

InterContinental Luanda Miramar has become the go-to venue for events in Luanda. What does that mean for the hotel?

The hotel has established a solid image from the perspective of sales and marketing as well as from the perspective of consolidating the InterContinental brand. It is a stronghold, and this is the consequence of our investment and security, quality, comfort, and mindfulness because our guests are top worldwide leaders. We have already raised the bar for international travelers for major conferences and large events. We are the go-to venue worldwide, and it raises the profile of the country as well. This is our philosophy, and we want to improve and develop a better footprint moving forward and get a major foothold of the tourism sector in Angola.

The new Luanda International Airport is expected to become operational in the first half of 2024. What opportunities will that bring to the sector?

The airport will significantly benefit the economy of the country. Although the distance to Luanda is far, a metro connecting the city to the airport is currently under construction. The roads to the airport will also be expanded for larger volumes of traffic.

There is tremendous potential for investment in Angola’s tourism sector. How is InterContinental Luanda Miramar driving the sector to attract investors to the tourism industry?

We are automatically on all the platforms around the world in terms of hotel searches, including Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Google hotels, and also in travel agencies. Major players are all aligned as part of agreements with IHG worldwide. We have deals with major companies worldwide that have special agreements and conditions with key hotel chains. In terms of tourism, the country needs to arrange facilities for single travelers.

What changes would you like to see for Angola to become a tourist destination?

The government must work on infrastructure alignment for tourism. Professionals in the sector should also develop a report for the government to suggest changes that can help the sector and the country. With everything happening around the world, Africa is the continent of the future. As long as professionals have a say in the government, and the government accepts the recommendations, they will be embedded in the government’s strategic plan or for the next vision. Angolans are hospitable, it has great gastronomy, sights, cultural attractions, and weather. InterContinental Luanda Miramar is here to establish a footprint and set the path forward of real hospitality. Our mission is to establish international standards here while embedding local culture and content.

What are your plans for 2023? Are there any plans to expand into other provinces in Angola?

Our plans for the rest of the year are to solidify and enhance our image, service, and brand awareness in the country and city. People need to be aware that we are fully open, including F&B, rooms, catering, banquets, and more. We will be the footprint for now and forever for any traveler when they think of coming to Luanda. It is part of our DNA to grow more, especially in Africa. However, at the end of the day, we are a business unit and need more time to look at the development of this business unit before thinking of expansion. This decision is also linked to the country’s social economic development.

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