The Maldives Border Miles loyalty programme has enrolled 100,000 members, a “significant milestone” that far exceeded initial targets, it was announced on Wednesday.

Launched in December 2020 as the first of its kind by a country, the three-tiered programme allows tourists to earn points based on their number of visits and duration of stay. Additional points are awarded for visiting to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, honeymoons or wedding anniversaries. Rewards include fast-tracked immigration clearance, airport service benefits and discounts from select resorts and restaurants.

Tourists can register online after submitting the mandatory health declaration before traveling to the Maldives. New members who enrol before 31 December will also be eligible for a lucky draw to win a five-night, all-inclusive holiday for two at the You & Me By Cocoon resort.

Since reopening borders to all travellers in July 2020, tourist arrivals to the Maldives have outperformed expectations, surpassing one million for 2021 or 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of October.

The Border Miles programme is managed by the immigration department in collaboration with the tourism ministry and the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation and Maldives Airports Company Limited.

In November, Maldives Immigration signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Agoda to utilise the digital travel platform’s global network to boost the Border Miles programme.

“The Border Miles programme 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,” Immigration Controller General Mohamed Ahmed Hussain said at the MoU signing ceremony. “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 programme and we have so much to learn from one another and together, we can make this world’s first programme truly recognised globally.”

John Brown, CEO of Agoda, said: “We applaud the Ministry of Tourism in Maldives and the Controller General of Immigration for spearheading such forward-thinking initiatives to aid in the country’s rebound. Agoda strives to be a supportive partner to the governments and communities we operate in, this time in the Maldives, to leverage our technology and robust marketing strategies to help stimulate the tourism economy. We are optimistic of the benefit this will bring to the Maldives’ tourism industry and are honored to play a contributing part in this.”