Maldives is on track to become the first country in the world to have its own loyalty program. They won’t just be for airlines and hotels anymore.
The Maldives Border Miles program announced there will be three tiers: Abaarana (Gold), Antara (Silver) and Aida (Bronze). All three names come from Divehi, the main local language of the Indian Ocean nation.
Maldives Immigration, an official Twitter account run by the government, made the announcement on September 28: “Maldives Border Miles is a three-tier loyalty program for tourists. Earn points based on the number of visits and length of stay. Extra points are awarded for special occasion visits. “
But how will tourists react to this first of its kind? Some of that will depend on what global tourism looks like after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Maldives, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism and hotels, is one of the first countries in Asia to reopen borders. Tourists begin to return slowly in July.
An expert in the travel industry thinks the idea has long-term potential. Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights newsletter, told CNN Travel: “This is probably the most innovative move by a country since its ‘free stop on the road to Europe’ program. Iceland “.
“Most travel boards have been focusing solely on the fancy advertising and Photoshopped experiences, but this campaign from the Maldives is both novel and unique.”
A representative of the National Tourism Board of the Maldives told CNN Travel that the program will be implemented in December 2020. It is currently unclear what kinds of perks will be received by travelers in these three categories and how the points will be wrapped. As a luxury destination, hotel prices in Maldives can be expensive, but a point system might be able to balance some of these costs with upgrades and giveaways.
The Maldives are not alone on the list of destinations to be creative after the global coronavirus crisis.
The Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Barbados and Aruba are all issuing extended visas to those looking for a nicer place to work remotely, and the Faroe Islands have set up a website where visitors can “get things done. remote control “a local visitor.