The government of the Maldives has announced that it will roll out a loyalty program of sorts that will reward travelers for the frequency of traveling to the island nation.
It’s a rather interesting approach to offer people benefits of whatever sort based on the number of arrivals in the country which in case of the Maldives is likely for tourism and therefore a significant injection to the nations economy given that Maldives trips are usually quite pricey.
The Maldives Border Miles program already has it’s own website but there isn’t much to see about the benefits yet.
Maldives Border Miles is a three-tiered loyalty program focused on tourism promotion. Tourists enrolled to this program will earn points for each border crossing. Additional points are rewarded for the visits on special occasions. Once the tourist reaches to a tally of a specific amount of points, privileges are rewarded with amazing benefits. As they move up the tiers, privileges are enhanced, and benefits are made exclusive.
Maldives Border Miles is a tourism promotion program initiated by Maldives Immigration and developed with joint stakeholders, Ministry of Tourism and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
There will be three tiers in this program:
- Bronze membership level is called Aida. The word Aida is from Divehi linguistic, which is referred to a bright star on the sky.
- Silver membership level is called Antara. The word Antara is from Divehi linguistic which is referred as attractive and prestigious.
- Gold membership level is called Abaarana. The word Abaarana is from Dhivehi linguistic, which is an honorific name given to monarchs.
Apart from the names and the information that these levels can be achieved based on the number of arrivals there is no information on the website yet.
The initiative was also announced on Twitter by the Minister of Tourism:
Minister @Mausoom_Maus inaugurated ‘The Maldives Border Miles’ program, an initiative by @ImmigrationMV developed in association with @motmv,@visitmaldives and @MACLmedia. We thank the support of #Maldives tourism partners in making this exciting and innovative program a reality. pic.twitter.com/y9gdfOwubi
— Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) September 28, 2020
What could the benefits of this program be?
That’s the hardest part to answer but lets speculate.
Taiwan and Hong Kong have an immigration fast track available for travelers arriving more than a few times per year (Hong Kong E-Channel can now be applied for without any restriction). Offering Border Miles Elite member a fast track for Immigration or security would certainly be the easiest, maybe some lounge access?
Another possibility is the option to offer tier specific discounts at stores and hotels. The government can always reimburse businesses for the discounts they hand out.
Most of the hotel transfers ex Male are extremely expensive. A discount on those would definitely be nice. Or maybe a relaxed duty free rule that would finally allow to bring a bottle of champagne etc?
The Maldives were one of the first countries that saw the need to re-open again to get the economy going. With tourism worldwide being on a super low flame countries like the Maldives who rely almost exclusively on tourism are hit the hardest right now.
We will have to wait and see what they have in store for us. I can only imagine that these benefits will be collected over time similar to the cruise loyalty programs. The Maldives aren’t a destination where you fly to every other month.
I still can’t put a finger on it what benefits there might be associated with this program. Anything beyond airport services and discounts appears to be far fetched from my first look at such a scheme.