Maldives set to become the first country to launch its own loyalty program

Sep 29, 2020

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Air miles, hotel points and now Border Miles.

In December, the Maldives will launch its own loyalty program — a first for a country. On Sunday, during a virtual ceremony hosted by the Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, the country unveiled its idea for a three-tiered loyalty program, known as Maldives Border Miles.

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Up to this point, there is limited information about how status will be earned and what rewards each level will entail. What we do know is that there will be three levels:

  • Aida (bronze);
  • Antara (silver); and
  • Abaarana (gold).

A tourist’s number of visits and duration of stay will help to earn status, with extra points for those visiting the islands for special occasions. The program is set to launch on Dec. 1.

It’s unclear what the levels of status will get a traveler when they visit the bucket-list destination. Given a trip to the Maldives can often be associated with spending a lot of money, we’re hoping that the benefits of each status tier will offer some kind of monetary benefit.

Related: 6 reasons to pick the W Maldives over the St. Regis

When you consider, for example, that a seaplane transfer in the Maldives often costs upwards of $600 per person, that can truly add up. If there is some savings potential on this required expenditure, it could lure tourists to come back to the island time and time again.

Alternatively, if the tiers offer experience perks, such as priority entry lanes at immigration, it could be an incentive for would-be travelers tight on time or not looking to wait in long queues.

Ultimately, whether or not the Maldives Border Miles program will be a success will largely depend on how it can attract consumers. Will its perks be enough to entice visitors to come back time and time again? Or, will they be lacklustre enough for someone to choose another island destination for their holiday?

We will have to wait and see.

The Maldives reopened to tourism in July with few requirements. However, as of earlier this month, it’s revised its entry requirements to implement mandatory testing. Visitors must have a negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure in order to enter the country.

Featured image by @ashleybielawska via Twenty20

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