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The Maldives is the World’s First Country to Offer a Traveler Loyalty Program

travel rewards program Maldives
  • The Maldives plans on launching a loyalty rewards program come December to boost tourism, which has suffered under the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Maldives Border Miles loyalty program will reward visitors’ points for every border crossing, which will earn them perks and benefits.
  • The perks tourist will receive have not been announced.
  • The program is a three-tiered loyalty program for tourists. Tourists who enroll in this program 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 program; Aida (bronze tier), Antara (silver tier), and Abaarana (gold tier). Each tier will be defined by a set variety of rewards, services, or benefits, increasing value as members progress.

COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented crisis for the travel industry. Travel in the U.S. has fallen sharply since the beginning of the pandemic, with airlines and hotels taking the biggest hit. As tourism-related businesses re-open and managing their recovery in a way that is safe, attractive for loyal customers, and economically viable will require agility, innovation, and coordination to build trust, driving engagement, and help the bottom line of struggling companies.

COVID-19 Dramatically Impacts the Tourism Industry

  • World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) projects that International tourist arrivals are projected to plunge by 60 to 80% in 2020, and tourism spending is not likely to return to previous levels until 2024.
  • Travel by air has seen a huge decline of 73.9% from last year, and airlines around the U.S. have seen sharp declines in airfare. Trains, cruises, and other modes of transportation have declined by 85.5%.
  • AAA predicted a significant decline in summer travel this year due to COVID-19 with American car trips down 15% from last year (the largest decline since 2009).
  • Shelter in place or similar nonessential travel ban has had a big impact on the 1.1 billion members of travel and hospitality loyalty programs. Covid-19 forced loyalty marketers to innovate, modernize, and enhance loyalty program benefits to keep members engaged with their loyalty

10 TIPS TO BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY

Maldives Border Miles Loyalty Program

The Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed, highlighted the importance of marketing this program to tourists worldwide. “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 Maldives Border Miles loyalty program was launched to increase the popularity of Maldives as a tourist destination and provide a path for more marketing and advertising opportunities.

Maldives Border Miles is a tourism promotion program initiated by Maldives Immigration and developed with joint stakeholders, including the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing, Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL). The loyalty program will officially be implemented on 1st December 2020 and is hoped to steer Maldives’ tourism industries to safely thrive in the next normal.

Sallie Burnett
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