All Round View(Peshawar): Maldives Immigration began Maldives Border Miles, the world’s first tier-based travel loyalty programme. During the ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA) to welcome the first tourist of 2021 to the Maldives, Controller General of Immigration Mohamed Ahmed Hussain gifted him a loyalty card from the bronze tier of the Maldives Border Miles programme. Effective January 1, 2021, onwards, the loyalty programme enables registered visitors to earn points by travelling to the Maldives. Points are allocated to tourists under a criterion which includes the duration of their stay, frequency of travel, visits to celebrate special occasions and visits on Maldivian celebrations.
Maldives Border Miles is a three-tiered loyalty program focused on tourism promotion. Tourists enrolled in this program will earn points for each border crossing. Additional points are rewarded for the visits on special occasions. Once the tourist reaches to a tally of a specific amount of points, privileges are rewarded with amazing benefits. As they move up the tiers, privileges are enhanced, and benefits are made exclusive.
Initiated by Maldives Immigration, Maldives Border Miles is a tourism promotion programme developed with the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL). Maldives Border Miles features three tiers: ‘Aida’ (bronze), ‘Antara’ (silver) and ‘Abaarana’ (gold), each with a distinctive variety of rewards and benefits. Members can improve their loyalty status, starting from 500 points for ‘Aida’ (bronze), 2,000 points for ‘Antara’ (silver) and 4,000 points for ‘Abaarana’ (gold).
“As we greet and hand over the Maldives Border Miles programme card to the first visitor of 2021, our sincere hope is that this programme aids our objective to increase tourist arrivals for the year and produces a beneficial effect on the tourism industry”, stated MMPRC Managing Director Thoyyib Mohamed.
“We look forward to seeing its success in the approaching days and we ensure Maldives Immigration and the stakeholders that we will give our active support and cooperation”, he added. Expressing confidence that the programme would increase repeated travellers to the Maldives, Immigration Controller Mohamed Ahmed Hussain noted that Maldives Border Miles represented an effort to achieve targets set out under the incumbent administration’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP). MACL Managing Director Gordon Andrew Stewart described the Maldives Border Miles programme as an innovative method to attract global travellers to the Maldives.
He went on to guarantee that MACL was maintaining a high level of safety standards at Velana International Airport to ensure traveller safety. “We have already attained the ACI International Health Accreditation certification which recognises the steps we have taken at our airport. The Maldives is picking up fast after border reopened in mid-July 2020. We are seeing an increasing number of flights and tourist arrivals every month. I thank and congratulate Team Maldives for the wonderful work, and I believe promising days are ahead for this nation”. The Maldives reopened its borders to international passengers in July after nearly four months since the state halted issuing on-arrival visas on March 27. Guesthouses were permitted to resume operations and kick start local tourism on October 15.
On December 12, Maldives recorded the arrival of the 100,000th tourist following the removal of travel restrictions. Five days after the milestone was reached, the government welcomed the 500,000th tourist for the year 2020. Overall, more than 550,000 tourists had visited the Maldives by the end of 2020. Although the Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures, there has been a gradual increase with the establishment of travel bubbles between the Maldives and other countries, as well as greater connectivity in terms of flight operations.
The government aims to attract a total of 1.2 million tourists to the Maldives in 2021, compared to the country’s record of 1.7 million in 2019. Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom had expressed his belief that the upcoming year would be a triumphant one for the island nation’s tourism sector. The Maldives consist of thousands of tropical islands with clear turquoise lagoons, crystal white beaches, and breathtaking and varied underwater world. These splendid islands are the perfect gateway for an unforgettable holiday experience.
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