Executive Leadership, Hospitality,
News | Knowledge | BAE Ventures | 30 May 2024

Alexandra Ventura: A Leader of Warmth and Conviction Steering Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism 

Alexandra Ventura
Executive Leadership, Hospitality,

A Portrait of Leadership and Vision
Alexandra Ventura, a seasoned leader with an extensive background in the hospitality industry, stands as the Executive Director of the Nova SBE Westmont Institute of Tourism & Hospitality. Her journey through various sectors of the industry, including general management, business development, and marketing, has distinguished her as an prominent figure in the field.
Alexandra’s academic foundation is robust, holding a degree in Economics from Nova School of Business and Economics, supplemented by Post Graduation degree in Planning & Development of Tourist Products from Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril, and further international exposure with a Maitrise in International Economy from Aix-Marseille University. This diverse educational background has equipped her with a deep understanding of the economic and managerial aspects of tourism and hospitality.
Professional Journey: From General Management to Executive Leadership
Alexandra’s career trajectory has been marked by significant roles, including pivotal positions at NAU Hotels & Resorts, where she managed new project development and operations. Her experience encompasses overseeing the opening of new hotels, such as the Hilton Porto/Gaia, and managing critical processes such as public procurement for hotel projects.
At SANA Hotels, Alexandra held the role of General Manager at the Evolution Lisboa, further showcased her adeptness in managing high-profile projects within competitive markets. Her efforts there focused on integrating advanced technology and modern design, effectively enhancing the property's status and guest satisfaction.
Before stepping into her current role, Alexandra also served as the Director of Business Development at the Westmont Institute. Her entrepreneurial spirit is evident in her founding of Sharing Impact, a venture where she designs business models for innovative and sustainable hospitality and tourism projects. This initiative reflects her commitment to integrating sustainability with economic viability, showcasing her forward-thinking approach to industry challenges.
Collaborative Ventures and Industry Impact
Alexandra’s current tenure at Nova SBE Westmont Institute of Tourism & Hospitality is marked by a proactive approach to education and innovation. Under her leadership, the institute not only focuses on academic programs but also fosters research and real-world impact through partnerships with industry leaders and technological innovators. 
An important milestone achieved under Alexandra’s direction is the institute's direct entry into the 6th place of the Eduniversal World Ranking in the category of Hospitality Management for the specialization in Hospitality and Customer Experience within the Master’s in Management program. This accomplishment highlights the institute's excellence and its growing influence in the global landscape of hospitality education. 
Another significant upcoming event is the “Walk the Talk: AI in Hospitality and Travel,” co-organized with BAE Ventures. Scheduled for July 9-10, 2024, in Carcavelos Nova SBE Campus, this event aims to explore the integration of artificial intelligence within the tourism and hospitality sectors. It promises to bring together industry leaders, startups, and academic experts to delve into AI's potential to transform these industries through insightful presentations, panels, and case studies.
Insights from Alexandra Ventura: A Deeper Dive into Innovation and Collaboration
In a recent conversation, we explored several aspects of the impactful work being done under Alexandra Ventura’s leadership at Nova SBE Westmont Institute of Tourism & Hospitality and the collaboration with BAE Ventures. Here are the insights she shared about this partnership and its initiatives:
Event Collaboration Insights
Alexandra responded thoughtfully about the synergy between Nova SBE Westmont Institute and BAE Ventures, stating, "The collaboration for the 'Walk the Talk: AI in Hospitality and Travel' event is a synergistic partnership that leverages the strengths of both organizations. At Nova SBE Westmont Institute, we bring a deep understanding of the hospitality and tourism industries, backed by academic rigor and a commitment to sustainability, innovation, and impact. This complements BAE Ventures' technological expertise and entrepreneurial spirit. Our alignment with BAE promotes an active project-based learning approach with a strong applied component, involving not only leading corporate partners but also start-ups. Together, we aim to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical, technology-driven solutions in the sector. This collaboration not only enhances the event but also sets a foundation for future ventures where technology meets hospitality.
Strategic Goals for "Walk the Talk"
When asked about the strategic goals for the upcoming event, Alexandra shared, "The 'Walk the Talk' event reflects our institute's vision to integrate cutting-edge technologies into our curriculum. By foregrounding AI in hospitality and travel education, we aim to equip our students with the necessary skills to lead and innovate in a digitally-transformed world. We hope to foster a deeper understanding of AI applications in real-world scenarios, stimulate innovative thinking, and prepare our students to be pioneers in implementing AI solutions within the industry. Moreover, the event will provide our faculty with valuable insights into emerging trends, enhancing our research capabilities and academic offerings."
Impact of AI on Industry Practices
Discussing the impact of AI on the industry, Alexandra noted, "AI's influence on hospitality and tourism is profound and multifaceted. I envision AI transforming these sectors by enhancing personalized guest experiences, optimizing operational efficiency, and creating new avenues for revenue management and customer engagement. For instance, AI can tailor travel recommendations to consumer preferences with remarkable precision, while also streamlining hotel operations through smart energy management and predictive maintenance. In customer service, AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can provide 24/7 support, ensuring a seamless, engaging customer journey. These changes not only improve operational aspects but also elevate the overall guest experience, setting new standards in hospitality and travel."
These insights highlight how Alexandra’s leadership is steering the Nova SBE Westmont Institute of Tourism & Hospitality toward a future where education, innovation, and practical application converge to redefine the hospitality and tourism landscape.

A Leader of Warmth and Conviction
Beyond her professional accolades, Alexandra is described by colleagues as a profoundly dedicated and inspiring leader. Her ability to foster team spirit and drive towards excellence is well-recognized. Always seen with a smile, she radiates positivity and warmth, making her a beloved figure among her peers and a persuasive communicator in the industry.
As she continues to lead the Nova SBE Westmont Institute of Tourism & Hospitality, her blend of strategic insight, dedication to sustainable innovation, and charismatic leadership poise her as a pivotal figure in shaping the future of the tourism and hospitality industry in Portugal and beyond.


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