In a special virtual ceremony held to mark World Tourism Day 2020, the minister of tourism Abdulla Mausoom has inaugurated the ‘Maldives Border Miles’ programme, aimed to boost tourism in Maldives. This is the first-of-its kind loyalty program developed in the entire world.
Mausoom said: “The Maldives Border Miles which is now launched is a programme which will increase the popularity of Maldives as a tourist destination and provide a path for more marketing and advertising opportunities. In addition, I think that this will further enhance the popularity gained in the key markets of Maldives tourism.”
Maldives Border Miles is a tourism promotion programme initiated by Maldives Immigration, and developed with joint stakeholders, who also joined the ceremony; Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL). This programme will be officially implemented on 1 December 2020 and is believed to take the tourism sector of Maldives to peak in the foreseeable future.
It is a three-tiered loyalty programme for tourists. Tourists who enroll in this programme will earn points based on the number of visits and duration of stay. Additional points will be awarded for visits to celebrate special occasions. There are three categories in this programme; Aida (bronze tier), Antara (silver tier) and Abaarana (gold Page or 2-tier). Each tier will be defined by a set variety of rewards, services or benefits, which increase in value as members progress.
With the introduction of the Maldives Border Miles programme, it is expected that tourism will boost considerably as it is an added advantage in promoting Maldives. Furthermore, it is also a golden opportunity for returning visitors to rediscover the best of Maldives and get the most out of their visit to the sunny side of life.
The year 2019 was a remarkable one in the history of Maldives’ tourism, with a ground-breaking record of 1.7 million tourist arrivals to the country. 2020 started off with more diversified and aggressive marketing activities with a target of reaching two million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
However, due to the ongoing global pandemic, Maldives had to close its borders on 27 March 2020. As the tourism industry accounts for the majority of foreign exchange earnings, it was majorly hit due to the stringent measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.
After almost four months since the suspension of on-arrival tourist visas, the tourism industry reopened on 15 July 2020, with enhanced precautionary measures against COVID-19. A safe tourism guideline was issued by the Ministry of Tourism, along with a certification program to ensure the safety and hygiene standards of all tourism facilities. Resorts and liveaboards on uninhabited islands have resumed operations whereas guest houses on inhabited islands will resume operations on 10 October 2020.