- The Maldives plans on launching a loyalty rewards program come December to boost tourism, which has suffered under the coronavirus pandemic.
- The “Maldives Border Miles” program says visitors will get points for every border crossing, which will get them various perks and benefits, according to its website.
- What these perks are has yet to be announced.
- While nonessential travel is no longer discouraged, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
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Destinations around the world hit hard by the pandemic have gotten creative to attract visitors: Barbados, for example, is letting people live and work there for a year, income tax-free, while destinations in Mexico are offering to foot half of tourists’ hotel bill.
Now, the Maldives has announced plans for “Maldives Border Miles,” a kind of loyalty program that rewards travelers for frequent visits to the small island nation in South Asia, as travel blogger Gilbert Ott of God Save the Points reports.
Spearheaded by Maldives Immigration along with the Ministry of Tourism, the program is set to launch on December 1, 2020, according to a press release from the country’s immigration department.
The program’s website outlines three tiers of loyalty: Aida (bronze), which is where everyone starts; Antara (silver); and Abaarana (gold).
Each trip to the Maldives will get tourists points, which add up to “exclusive benefits” and “privileges,” according to the program’s website, which says that visiting on “special occasions” results in extra points. Longer stays will also yield more points, the program’s website says.
According to Maldives Immigration’s press release, “each tier will be defined by a set variety of rewards, services or benefits, which increase in value as members progress.” However, details on what exactly those rewards, services, and benefits entail have not been released yet.
Representatives for the Ministry of Tourism and Maldives Immigration did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment when asked for further information about the program.
When announcing the program, the Controller General of Immigration, Mohamed Ahmed Hussain, said that for guests to the Maldives, the vacation begins as soon as they land, which may suggest that the program could greet visitors with perks at the airport.
Video: This Luxury Resort in the Maldives Is Hiring a Bibliophile to Sell Books at the Beach (Travel + Leisure)
According to the press release, Velana International Airport recently attained the Airport Council International’s Health Accreditation certification after implementing numerous cleaning and hygiene measures at the airport.
The Maldives reopened to all tourists on July 15, provided that visitors can present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before their departure.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the Maldives has seen 10,157 confirmed cases and 34 related deaths at the time of writing.
While nonessential travel is no longer discouraged, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”