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Having written about points/miles for years now (and having been an enthusiast for much longer), it’s rare I see something about loyalty programmes that takes me completely by surprise. It happened yesterday though, courtesy of the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, which has launched the world’s first nation-based loyalty programme: Maldives Border Miles
Minister @Mausoom_Maus inaugurated ‘The Maldives Border Miles’ program, an initiative by @ImmigrationMV developed in association with @motmv,@visitmaldives and @MACLmedia. We thank the support of #Maldives tourism partners in making this exciting and innovative program a reality. pic.twitter.com/y9gdfOwubi
— Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) September 28, 2020
According to the website, Maldives Border Miles is:
“a three-tiered loyalty program focused on tourism promotion. Tourists enrolled to 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.”
The tiers are described as follows:
- Bronze membership level is called Aida. The word Aida is from Divehi linguistic, which is referred to a bright star on the sky.
- Silver membership level is called Antara. The word Antara is from Divehi linguistic which is referred as attractive and prestigious.
- Gold membership level is called Abaarana. The word Abaarana is from Dhivehi linguistic, which is an honorific name given to monarchs.
As yet, no details seem to have been made public about what sort of benefits will actually be made available, or how many trips you need to make to rise through the different tiers.
I am genuinely quite perplexed by Maldives Border Miles. I’m a big fan of innovation in the loyalty sphere, and it’s hard to imagine something more innovative than this, but… I’m struggling to see how it actually makes any sense.
What realistic/useful benefits could the Ministry of Tourism really offer frequent guests? Even if they could, are they the sort of things that would genuinely encourage someone to visit the Maldives more than they otherwise would? Is the number of border crossings a person makes really a useful way to measure their importance to the national tourism industry?
I have a lot of questions. However, For now I shall reserve judgement, applaud the innovation, and look forward to hearing more details.
What do you think about Maldives Border Miles?