Weeva adds AI capability to its sustainability platform

by: Felicity Cousins | March 5, 2024

GERMANY: Weeva has announced the official launch of its new AI capability on its platform today at Berlin’s travel trade show, ITB.

The sustainability management platform helps tourism properties track, measure, and report on their sustainable operations in one central platform.

The company provided a preview of the new AI features at the Phocuswright Conference in October last year, describing it as a “sustainability officer in your pocket,” but today James Lever, Weeva’s chief technology officer revealed how the sustainability management platform is the first to integrate generative AI capabilities into its user experience.

Lever took to the e-Travel stage to demonstrate the platform’s AI features, which includes conversational access – another way of describing the chatbot-type feature which uses intelligent human-like responses to answer questions put to it by the user. 

Conversational access changes what might have felt like a mechanical process to a more personalised interaction and rules out users scrolling through menu bars or searching around for what they want to know. 

Instead users of Weeva’s platform will be able to ask any questions they have and be tapped into Weeva’s library of resources, as well as being able to access the platform’s in-house expertise, and streamline ways of reporting on sustainability. 

The technology is able to process graphs and other data and offer text about the results from that information, in a fast and accessible way.

When we spoke to founder and managing director, Weeva, Julie Cheetham about the new technology earlier this year she said that AI and machine learning will also be “used to identify data that is an outlier, or an obvious duplication, or that doesn’t make sense in terms of your regular trends and it will flag that with our sustainability teams. They will then reach out to property to ask for access to the data to do some investigations.”

Weeva developed the AI capabilities in partnership with users during an extensive trial period and the features, which will go live tomorrow, will continue to be refined according to user feedback. 

Lever said: “There is a real opportunity to drive innovation in the travel and tourism sector through the application of AI and support organisations to take practical steps that bring them closer to being truly sustainable.

“Our mission has — and will always be — to democratise access to world-leading sustainability expertise, and ensure that there are no barriers to building the skills that we so desperately need to support the green transition.”

Since its launch in 2022, Weeva has been adopted by more than 200 properties — supporting 400 users — around the world helping travel and tourism businesses set and achieve their sustainability targets. The company said many of its hotel clients are independent hotels,  those which don’t often have the budget for sustainability officers. It said it has priced its platform at the same level as a sustainability consultant for one day because it wants to make achieving sustainability goals accessible to all – although this week as an ITB special the platform is offering a $650 rate – about a 50 per cent discount.

At Phocuswright Lever quoted Ali Beklen, founder and managing partner at HotelRunner. “Data is not just a byproduct but the currency that drives innovation and competitiveness.”

Earlier this year, Weeva was formally recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – the international governing body for sustainable tourism – as a ‘GSTC-recognised standard for hotels’.

We spoke to Julie Cheetham, founding member and managing director at Weeva earlier this year.

Q&A: Julie Cheetham, founding member and managing director at Weeva

Image: Steve Johnson on Unsplash