Africa Travel Week
ATW Weeva

Weeva is a winning tech innovator and the travel industry’s secret weapon for driving sustainability

Nwabisa Mjoli knows the real challenges hotels face in going green. As Weeva’s Sustainability Content and Support Lead, she’s making it easier for properties to turn ambition into action. Weeva’s user-friendly dashboards allow hotels to track key metrics – from carbon emissions to community engagement – so they can see what’s working and what’s not. This takes the guesswork out of sustainability. Hotels can then showcase their efforts to guests and staff. And maybe win some awards along the way – like the WTM Responsible Tourism Award 2023 for “Addressing Climate Change”.

Can you tell us how this award has helped Weeva and its sustainable tourism efforts?

As a relatively new startup with just over a year since our official launch behind us, winning the award not only gives us credibility amongst our peers, but it is a testament to our commitment to excellence and dedication in fostering climate positive solutions for the travel and tourism industry. 

Sustainability can be complicated. How does Weeva make it simpler for businesses?

At Weeva, we make sustainability simpler for travel businesses through clear communication in our content because we cannot presume our users understand the jargon and key terms experts often use when unpacking the concept of sustainability. We understand that many of our users are at different levels in their sustainability journey, and that the service and support we offer needs to be tailored to their needs and opportunities.

For example, we have educational guides and tasks targeted at three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. They provide our users with curated content to help them understand each of the 18 Weeva parameters including understanding the sustainability actions that need to be taken. 

How does Weeva help reduce the tourism industry’s impact on the environment and promote eco-friendly practices?

Sustainability is not a destination, but a journey of continuous steps towards being ‘better’ and having a measurable positive impact on the environment and society, whilst being good for business too. We break this journey into four steps that repeat: Learn, Measure, Manage, and Meet & Exceed. Using this framework, your hotel can have a continuously positive impact on the environment while promoting eco-friendly practices amongst your team, stakeholders and guests.

Which types of tourism businesses can use Weeva’s sustainability solutions, and is it suitable for all sizes of businesses?

Weeva supports a range of travel businesses such as independent and chain hotels, lodges, Bed and Breakfast accommodation (B&B’s), including aviation and rail businesses. We are also open to different sizes of businesses. For example, the large ones tend to have a Sustainability Officer onsite or someone with a role in overseeing the business’s environmental and sustainability goals. While small to medium sized ones would have a General Manager or Operations Lead/ Manager who oversees your daily activities, occupancy and guest experiences.

What are some common problems businesses face when trying to be more sustainable, and how does Weeva help with these problems?

One most of the most common problems travel business face is streamlining their processes relating to tasks such as data collection and analysis.  Besides making data capturing and analytics easier, Weeva is further addressing this by investing in generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities.

This service will address some of the challenges and opportunities that our users face in reporting consistently on their sustainability performance. For example,  Weeva’s AI will seamlessly assimilate and respond to content uploaded by a user in relation to their sustainability efforts, as well as automatically generate answers to questions related to their sustainability practices.

How can Weeva help clients become more resilient?

At Weeva, we encourage our users to go beyond capturing energy, water and waste data, but to also consider other aspects in their data collection such as Community and Culture because these are interlinked and should not be looked in isolation.  Culture, as an example connects people and holds the potential to raise awareness about climate issues, subsequently contributing to strengthening your team’s adaptive capacity to deal with shocks or unpredictable events.

As the 2024 Responsible Tourism awards are coming up, what advice would you give to businesses looking to join and improve responsible tourism with Weeva’s help?

One of the most essential steps in driving change and promoting responsible tourism is having transparent data so that you make decisions based on facts and accurate baselines, rather than just on experience and intuition.

At Weeva, not only do we provide the necessary hand holding, but our technology platform was developed specifically for the hospitality industry to manage and report on its data as a way of future proofing the sector. Moreover, with regulations – measuring your sustainability data is becoming imperative in terms of disclosures.

Why do you believe awards like the WTM Responsible Tourism award are important for the tourism industry, and how can they inspire more businesses to prioritise sustainability and responsible practices?

Your entry for the Responsible Tourism Awards helps you position yourself at being at the forefront, as an industry leader in responsible rourism, as well as signifying your commitment to driving meaningful change within Africa’s travel industry.  Sharing your successes and failures will help inspire more travel businesses to prioritise sustainability and responsible practices.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.