Incentivising visits to the Maldives

By | Category: Travel destinations

In my wallet there are hotel loyalty cards, railcards, airline and airline alliance cards along with supermarket and retail loyalty cards plus a couple of attractions cards that give me free or discounted entry and even a cruise loyalty system.

Kandima resort in the Maldives. Would a loyalty scheme spur you to visit the country again and again?

Most have had no business in the last twelve months and one I haven’t renewed because who can travel?

What isn’t in my wallet are any destination loyalty cards. Loyalty cards for me to return to a place haven’t caught on but one destination may change that.

The Maldives in the Indian Ocean has launched a one-of-a-kind, three-tiered loyalty programme for travellers called ‘Maldives Border Miles.’

Obviously it is aimed at urging us to go back and have another holiday in the islands but will it succeed given that the Maldives is often thought of as a once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination by most of us?

And there you have the answer. It isn’t meant for most holidaymakers just those thousands rather than hundreds of thousands that can journey to places like the Maldives more than once.

Therefore to appeal to that group, the loyalty offering system must be impressive to deter people from holidaying in Mauritius, the Seychelles, Bermuda or St Lucia and places like that.

Tourists enrolled on the programme collect points and earn rewards. Points will be given based on the duration of stay (a minimum of three nights) and for visits celebrating special occasions (such as honeymoons, anniversaries and birthdays) as well as for travel during local holidays in the Maldives. The frequency of visits and aspects such as organising activities or excursions with ‘Maldives Border Miles’ partners will also help travellers to add to their collection of points. Members of the program will receive benefits based on their Tier status – of which there are three Aida (Bronze Tier), Antara (Silver Tier) and Abaarana (Gold Tier) – which increase in value as members progress up the programme.

If you reach Abaarana level then you can get a discount of between 10-15% from partners such as hotels and attractions. But to reach it you have to accrue 4,000 points. Considering you get 5 points for each night spent (only points for thirty days in each stay will be counted ie 150 points) and only 30 for a wedding anniversary then you are unlikely to get top tier status on even a couple of visits.

Aida status is just 500 points and I think that will take three visits at least to achieve.

The question then is bound to be whether the loyalty system is appealing enough to attract people to join and then go to the effort of boosting their status?

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