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Travel trends in 2023: Future shines bright for Seychelles |25 January 2023

Following a bumper year for Seychelles’ tourism with more than 335,000 visitors in 2022, ambitions for 2023 are understandably high. At almost 100% recovery, we outperformed the rest of Africa which only saw an average rebound to 65% of pre-pandemic visitors.

This upward trend looks set to continue into 2023, with much of the innovation in Seychelles over the past few years reflecting the changing face of travel. The team at Travizory have crunched the data and analysed the research to pull together the top 5 travel trends of 2023:

1. Biometrics are here to stay

Airlines and airports continue to streamline their processes while crafting the ultimate seamless journey for passengers, with biometrics helping to eliminate physical documents and reduce queues. In late 2022, British Airways and Dubai Airport announced major biometric updates offering passengers the option to enrol for biometrics at home or via kiosks. The US introduced facial recognition kiosks in 2018. Today more than 80% of all travellers entering the U.S. are now verified by facial recognition. A US citizen enrolled in Global Entry can enter his country with his face only – no passport necessary!

Way back in 2021, Seychelles became the first African country to install biometrics at the airport and continues to make impressive headway in this regard. Seychelles’ Biometric Corridor offers a world-class experience on arrival, using facial biometrics to quickly screen passengers and sort them based on their TA application. Since installation, the Seychelles International Airport has recorded its fastest ever overall screening times.

  1. Spending more for the ultimate holiday

With airlines returning to normal and more countries relaxing their travel restrictions, travellers can finally realise their travel ambitions the way they’ve envisaged them, without having to compromise on duration or which experiences to choose from. According to research, new adventures are in demand with 70% of travellers stating they want to travel to wish list destinations and 74% agreeing they are more likely to spend more on travel in 2023. This is good news for Seychelles, already well-established as a once-in-a-lifetime destination. In 2022, more than 17,000 couples chose to come to Seychelles for their wedding or honeymoon, highlighting our position as a bucket list favourite.

3. Travelling with confidence

The travel industry has grappled with ways to rebuild traveller confidence since the start of the pandemic, and there are signs that this confidence is on the up. But tourists want to know what rules are in place, what documents they need to show and be certain that they will not be turned away at the border or subject to a surprise quarantine.

The global airline industry struggled to come up with solutions to verify whether travellers have the proper documents but they failed to establish common standards and therefore couldn’t resolve chaos at check-in and arrival. Many feel that the burden should be on the destination, not the carrier.

In fact, research has shown that 28% of people actually reconsider a destination if they think that getting into the country will be complicated.

The Seychelles Electronic Border System addresses this issue right at the source, by giving all travellers a trusted, up-to-date list of requirements and restrictions and creating a direct link between government and visitor. Visitors can access all the information on a single platform, in their native language and be sure that they have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s before starting their trip.

“I really love the Seychelles TA! Planning a holiday during Covid-19 is stressful and every traveller knows the stress of travelling to a new place and not sure if you are eligible or have all the right/ necessary documents for travel and this app just kicked all those worries out the door for me! It's a really simple, convenient, quick and hassle free app to use. It's super easy to navigate through, very user-friendly interface and even the welcome page is just beautiful." - Tshidi

4. Saving time by doing things in advance

No one wants to start their holiday queuing or stressing to find the best deals or local attractions. Tourists want to get off the plane and out of the airport with as little hassle as possible. Both the UK and the EU are going to introduce a Travel Authorization system this year – following countries like the US, Canada and Australia – in order to screen all passengers before they board. This reduces queues, requires fewer resources on arrival and means that only high-risk passengers need to be examined closely. The good news is that Seychelles has already been doing this for the past 2 years and has gone further by partnering with local businesses to enable pre-purchases. For the border agents, processing time has reduced to less than 45 seconds per passenger. For the tourists, they can skip the queues and pre-purchase local SIM cards or PCR tests to start their holiday on the right foot.

5. Sustainability

Sustainability was one of the most prominent discussions in 2022. It is unlikely that this will change moving forward into the next year. As awareness of the environmental impact of travel has grown, the aviation industry in particular has come under scrutiny.

While this trend could be a death knell for long-haul destinations like Seychelles, national measures to protect our natural flora and fauna and promote sustainable tourism have been a success. Today, when travelling to Seychelles, tourists are given the option to donate to the Environmental Trust Fund, a government-run fund that focuses on sustainability projects and initiatives. To date, visitors have voluntarily given over €1 million to the ETF via the Seychelles Electronic Border System.           


Press release from Travizory

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