The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has inaugurated the Maldives Border Miles programme, during a special virtual ceremony held to mark the 2020 World Tourism Day. Aimed to boost tourism in the Maldives, this will be the first of its kind loyalty programme developed in the entire world. The programme will be officially implemented on December 1, 2020.
Maldives Border Miles is a three-tiered loyalty programme for tourists. Those who enrol will earn points based on the number of visits and duration of stay, with additional points awarded for visits on celebrate special occasions. The three categories of the programme include: Aida (bronze tier), Antara (silver tier) and Abaarana (gold tier). Each tier is defined by a set variety of rewards, services or benefits, which increase in value as members progress.
Maldives Border Miles is a tourism promotional programme initiated by Maldives Immigration, and developed with joint stakeholders who joined the World Tourism Day ceremony; the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).
Minister Dr. Mausoom stated: “The Maldives Border Miles programme which was launched today 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.”
Speaking at the ceremony, the Controller General of Immigration Mohamed Ahmed Hussain stated: “The hotel reception is not where the tourists begin their holiday. Their awaited journey begins from the welcoming smile of the immigration officer at the border, which indeed narrates the initial chapter of a memorable vacation. And with the introduction of Maldives Border Miles, we are prepared to welcome them with privileges and facilitate an experience like never before.”
Following the launch of the programme, Managing Director of MMPRC Thoyyib Mohamed stated: “Our sincere hope is that this program aids in increasing the destination presence and produces a beneficial impact on the tourism industry, as well as increase the tourist arrival rate in the future. We look forward to its successful implementation in the approaching days.”
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited Gordon Andrew Stewart stated: “Maldives Border Miles program is an innovative way to attract global travellers to the Maldives. To support this, we are focused on our passengers and staff’s health. We have taken a number of steps to assure that Velana International Airport is a safe airport, for all our travellers. We recently attained the Airport Industry Association; ACI International Health Accreditation certification. This certificate recognizes the steps we have implemented to ensure we have all the required health and safety measures in our airport to assure passengers of their safety, while travelling through the airport.”
With the introduction of the Maldives Border Miles program, it is expected that tourism will boost considerably as it is an added advantage in promoting Maldives.
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. The year 2020 started off with more diversified and aggressive marketing activities, and a target of reaching 2 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year. However, due to the ongoing global pandemic, the Maldives closed its borders on March 27, 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 July 15, 2020, with enhanced precautionary measures against COVID-19. A safe tourism guideline was issued by the Ministry of Tourism, along with a certification programme to ensure the safety and hygiene standards of all tourism facilities. Resorts and liveaboards have resumed operations, whereas guest houses on inhabited islands will resume operations on October 10, 2020.
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