In an unprecedented move by any country globally, Maldives Immigration in partnership with the country’s tourism board, has installed a points-based system to incentivise travellers to revisit the Indian Ocean Island paradise in exchange of varying degrees of privileges and exclusive benefits. Known as Maldives Border Miles and launched last month, this three-tier system promises points for each trip, whereby travellers may earn extra points for celebrating special occasions in the archipelago and for longer stays.
TTN spoke to Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director, Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation, hot on the heels of the country winning World’s Leading Destination award at the Grand Final of the World Travel Awards 2020. “The stringent health measures in place and the naturally inbuilt social distancing embedded in our destination, have together instilled confidence in travellers to visit Maldives and to vote for it as a leading destination this year. While this is the first time we have won this accolade, we certainly don’t want it to be the last time, so we plan to keep on innovating and doing better. Please keep visiting the Maldives and keeping voting for us,” he adds.
Allied Inbound Insurance is the first Covid-19 insurance in the Maldives dedicated to tourists and it adds that extra peace of mind by covering anything from medical charges, isolation facility charges, emergency medical transportation, internal charges following a positive diagnosis of Covid-19.
With the reopening of borders from July 15, 2020 till the end of October, the UAE has taken the lead in the Middle Eastern market with 3,596 visitors, also making it the fifth most important feeder market for Maldives in terms of post lockdown arrivals. In other Middle East countries, Egypt has accounted for 838 arrivals, Jordan provided 123, Kuwait 280, Lebanon 180, Oman 52, Qatar 131, and Saudi Arabia accounted for 96 arrivals.
The MD reminds the travel trade that a confirmed booking with a tourist established approved by the ministry of tourism should be made prior to arrival in the Maldives. “All tourists are required to fill an online declaration form and produce a negative PCR test, taken within 96 hours of departure. Additional permissions are required for split stays, when travellers want to travel from one island to another or from a resort to a guesthouse or a liveaboard or vice versa. Ensuring that these measures are adhered to is vital and beneficial for everyone involved.”
The number of resort properties in the Maldives stands at about 150, with a flurry of new openings expected this year, including some delayed from 2020: Patina Maldives, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, Capella Maldives, Avani+ Fares resort, and Cocogiri Island Resort Maldives. Very recent new openings include Sun Siyam World and Kagi Maldives.
“Our main message for the travel agents and tour operators is that although we are premium luxury brand, there are many affordable options in the Maldives too.”
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