Travizory – a quantum-leap in technology |28 September 2022
If you are among the lucky ones who have managed to travel overseas over the past couple of pandemic-stricken years, more likely than not, you are familiar with the travel authorisation technology, and most recently, the biometric contactless corridor, upon arrival in Seychelles.
It was in September 2020 that the government officially announced the gradual re-opening of borders, made possible through a contract with Swiss-based start-up, Travizory, an Information Technology (IT) and border security company.
Established just three years ago, the organisation earlier this month celebrated its second year anniversary in Seychelles, home to its Middle East and Indian Ocean regional headquarters. The organisation’s first audit is expected to be finalised by October.
Unlike most tech start-ups of these days, the brains, specialist knowledge, and skillset behind the company are primarily seniors who are vastly experienced in the industry, and taking the technology far and wide, across borders.
With over 150 countries worldwide with Visa-free policies, Travizory’s cloud-based mobile innovation was born, to respond to the need of governments to enhance security, digitise borders, while also facilitating the travel experience for visitors.
Seychelles first to jump on the bandwagon
“The vision became true here. We found a great first partner in the Seychelles,” co-founder and chief revenue officer Ygor Lutz beamed excitedly.
The government of Seychelles was the first to partner with Travizory to support the safe reopening of borders and attract visitors back to the islands. With the pandemic at its peak, the Travizory team were quick to integrate the public health protocols on top of the management of security risks, towards a well-rounded tool allowing for the pre-assessment of visitors, pre-arrival.
Thanks to the deployment of the world’s first cutting edge health biometric corridor for traveller screening in December 2021, Seychelles became the second country in the world, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the first in Africa, to leverage walk-through biometrics at the border, guaranteeing contactless and secure travel, as well as an unmatched customer experience for traveller arriving by air. The bio-corridor was impressively built in Seychelles.
Among the multifold benefits of the system are significantly shorter waiting times for visitors with the totally paperless entry, and shorter processing times for airport immigration staff.
As per managing director for Middle East and the Indian Ocean region, Tom Marten, the Travizory system has been effective, producing results in helping secure Seychelles’s borders and providing the government with tools to “catch bad guys”, but also in promoting the tourism industry.
Business intelligence data collected from travellers and stored in Seychelles have been instrumental towards the first Tourism Satellite Account on the African continent, launched earlier this month. Such business intelligence which authorised government entities are able to access in one depository is crucial to informing tourism marketing campaigns and where to invest resources.
“Seychelles is a high-end destination with high-ranking clientele coming here. It is a showcase for our technology, the biometric corridor, all the things we have done with Customs and Immigration. What better place to showcase our technology than the Seychelles?” Mr Marten added.
A quantum leap in technology
The bio-corridor features state-of-the-art cameras and AI-powered biometric engines, allowing for the identification of individual travellers using facial recognition technology, and the matching of travellers to the database of authorised travellers. Fully integrated with the Seychelles Islands Travel Authorisation system, the bio-corridor validates whether the traveller has submitted required health documentation.
Mr Marten noted that aside from cool technology, Travizory prides itself on delivering the highest level of customer service with the support of its 48 Seychellois employees, supporting and assisting clients from around the globe.
The self-financing model essentially means that travellers pay for the system, while governments can choose whether to generate revenues, with the rate per travel authorisation dictated by each respective government.
Having hit the nail on the head with the arrival system, Travizory Border Security hopes to also venture into offering tools towards further enhancing the in-country and post-travel experience for visitors.
Seychellois employees first and foremost
“We are really happy with the human resources that we have come across. We have hired a number of young people like Genevieve, and we are really happy with them, and as the company grows, their role is going to grow. That is our recognition of the quality of people that you have here, and the confidence that you have placed in us,” Mr Marten stated.
Travizory employs 150 people globally, with quite a number in Seychelles. Some 50 Seychellois make up the Operations Centre, and are based in Providence. Upon joining the company, employees are trained and have ample opportunities to keep growing in the respective roles.
Genevieve Lloyd joined the company around a year ago. She is currently the highest ranking Seychellois employee as Head of Communications for the company. Based in Seychelles, Ms Lloyd has a number of international staff reporting to her.
Beyond security and border control
The Seychelles Travel Authorisation platform and Travizory mobile applications allow voluntary contributions, specifically towards the local environment. Thus far, around has been raised, towards the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF), an initiative which is much-welcomed by most.
The company also recently donated a bridge to the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA), at the Botanical Garden.
In future, Travizory wishes to do yet more, in the fields of sports, and most importantly, to contribute their time and expertise towards the development of the younger generation domestically.