In a bid to attract global travelers after its tourism sector took a hit due to the pandemic, Maldives has launched the world’s first hospitality loyalty program where tourists could earn points based on the number of visits and duration of their stay.
The three-tiered loyalty program, called Maldives Border Miles, includes Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.
The Bronze level is the first tier and is called ‘Aida’. The word Aida is from Divehi linguistic, which is referred to a bright star in the sky. The Silver level is called ‘Antara’, which stands for attractiveness and prestige. The Gold level, ‘Abaarana’, is the third and most prestigious tier. The word Abaarana is an honorific name given to monarchs.
In an announcement on September 27, Maldives Immigration, an official government-run Twitter account, said, “Maldives Border Miles is a three-tiered loyalty program for tourists. Tourists will earn points based on the number of visits and duration of stay. Additional points will be awarded for visits to celebrate special occasions.”
Maldives Border Miles is a three-tiered loyalty program for tourists. Tourists will earn points based on the number of visits and duration of stay. Additional points will be awarded for visits to celebrate special occasions. #MaldivesBorderMiles #VisitMaldives pic.twitter.com/68AK2BUxQo
— Maldives Immigration (@ImmigrationMV) September 27, 2020
Tourism is one of the major sectors for the island nation’s economy and accounts for nearly two-thirds of its GDP. Maldives’ GDP is expected to contract by 8.5% in 2020, 13.9 percentage points lower than the pre-Covid-19 era, a World Bank report stated.
Tourism employs one-third of adult males and a quarter of females in the country and the travel restrictions due to the pandemic has adversely affected employment and household earnings.
The island nation reopened its borders in July to boost the tourism sector. It also promised facilities like visa on arrival, easy access to shores, and no quarantine for tourists.
According to the data provided by the Health Ministry of Maldives, the country has 10,291 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 34 deaths. The tally of active cases in the country stands at 1,142 while 9,108 people have recovered.