SINGAPORE, 26 November 2021: Maldives Border Miles, a loyalty programme initiated by Maldives Immigration, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global digital travel platform Agoda to boost tourism in the country.
The partnership will tap Agoda’s global network, technology and travel expertise, integrated marketing capabilities, intelligence tools and resources, to optimise traffic/bookings and drive more awareness to the MBM programme.
The agreement was signed last week in the presence of John Brown, CEO of Agoda and dignitaries from the Maldives Tourism Ministry, Deputy Minister Naushad Mohamed, Controller-General of Immigration, Mohamed Ahmed Hussain, and key stakeholders from the Tourism Ministry, Maldives Border Miles, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC). This marks the first high-level interaction between the Minister of Tourism and the Controller-General of Immigration and Agoda.
Tourists can join the loyalty free and work their way up a three-tiered MBM programme that accumulates reward points based on their accommodation bookings and chosen activities during their visit to the Maldives. Members earn a specific number of points to reach each tier (Aida, Antara and Abaarana). The tiers offer a different range of privileges to members, which can be used during their current visit or when they return to the country.
Under the MoU, the first to be signed by MBM with a global OTA, both parties will undertake shared promotional efforts via branded landing pages, digital promotions via owned channels, special accommodation/booking discounts on Agoda for MBM members, technical consultancy, sharing of expertise and more. The 12-month contract is designed to expand loyalty to return visitors, achieve greater customer acquisition and ultimately reinvigorate the travel landscape in the Maldives.
“The Border Miles program was set up in 2020 to incentivise the post-pandemic return to travel. In less than a year, our member base has grown to over 50,000 signups, half of which have come through in the last two weeks alone. It’s clear that demand is high, and our partnership with a global digital platform like Agoda will only accelerate this growth to a much wider global audience, reaching previously untapped origin markets. I believe this partnership will bring prosperity to the program and we have so much to learn from one another, and together, we can make this world’s first program truly recognised globally.”, said Immigration Maldives controller-general Mohamed Ahmed Hussain.
According to Agoda’s inbound search data, the Maldives has seen a fivefold uplift (400% increase), since the opening announcement on 1 July, indicating a clear demand for the destination.
A fast vaccination roll-out and the effectiveness of its Covid-related policies led to the first signs of recovery in July 2021. The government’s target of 900,000 tourists by the end of the year was surpassed when tourist arrivals reached 1 million in October.
From its beginnings as an e-commerce start-up based in Singapore in 2005, digital travel platform Agoda has grown to offer a global network of over 2.5 million properties in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, offering travellers easy access to a wide choice of luxury and budget hotels, apartments, homes and villas, to suit all budgets and travel occasions. In 2019, Agoda added a flight product and packages to help make travel even easier. Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,000 staff in 30 countries.
Maldives Border Miles is the world’s first destination loyalty programme for tourists. Members earn points based on the duration of stay, visits to celebrate their special occasions, visits on local occasions, frequency of visits, and other aspects. Members can enjoy exclusive rewards from participating hospitality and travel partners, starting from discounted services to free VIP services.
For more information visit https://bordermiles.mv/