Maldives has introduced its loyalty program to draw visitors last fall with its Maldives Border Miles program, which awards visitors with points based on the frequency and duration of their visit. The number of points accrued translates to certain elite status levels that affords visitors privileges when they arrive in the tropical island nation.

As the Indian Ocean nation opens up to vaccinated travelers with fewer restrictions, the Border Miles program is rolling out three levels of elite status with related tier benefits. While the program may not be a huge incentive to convince someone to make the long journey, it is a creative way of staying connected with travelers and offering a branded program to boost awareness that it is open for business. Most visitors are more likely to be engaged with a hotel brand’s own loyalty program when it comes to perks, but the effort is still commendable.

Visitors can join the program online before arriving and will earn 50 points for every border entry crossing plus an additional five points for every night (up to a maximum of 30 nights). To encourage visitors to spend special occasions like a wedding celebration (or anniversary) or birthday in the Maldives, the Border Miles program awards 30 bonus points.

If you visit during the off season, between June 1 and August 31, you can earn an additional 20 points and 10 more points if you travel during the Eid holiday. Visitors also earn five points for doing business with program partners. Most Maldivian resorts are on secluded islands, which effectively creates a resort bubble of sorts.

Unlike traditional loyalty programs where you redeem points in exchange for awards, Border Miles points stack up to earn various elite status levels. With each level comes more, albeit modest, benefits, and the points are cumulative (unlike traditional loyalty programs where the tally toward elite status typically restarts each year).

The “Aida” (bronze) level, achieved after earning 500 points, translates to a discount between three and 10% at participating hotels, resorts and restaurants, which include places like Dusit Thani Maldives and Hard Rock Cafe Maldives. It also comes with a free island tour and a visit with a local family, which is a notable way to learn about the local culture.

The country is doubling down on drawing tourists by offering an on-arrival vaccination program against the Covid-19 virus. Getting to the Maldives from the United States is not a quick trip, which means this program is most beneficial to those that live in places like the Middle East, Asia and even Europe since they are closer to the Maldives with nonstop flight options. Still, Americans can take advantage of the perks that come with this loyalty program if they visit several times over the years.

As the world slowly re-opens again to travelers, the Maldives is the ideal retreat for an al fresco vacation with plenty of space for privacy and relaxation.

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