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Agoda, Maldives Border Miles ink pact to boost post-pandemic tourism

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Maldives Border Miles (MBM), a loyalty programme initiated by Maldives Immigration in collaboration with key government stakeholders, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global digital travel platform Agoda, (part of Booking Holdings) to boost tourism in the country.

The partnership will utilise 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 on 22nd November 2021, in the presence of John Brown, CEO of Agoda and dignitaries from the Maldives Tourism Ministry, Deputy Minister, Dr 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.

A world’s first destination loyalty programme for tourists, the free to join, three-tiered MBM programme accumulates reward points for travellers to the Maldives based on their accommodation booking and chosen in market activities.

Members will need to earn a specific number of points to reach each tier (Aida, Antara and Abaarana), each offering a different range of privileges to its members, which can be utilised during current and return visits to the country.

Under the MoU, the first to be signed by MBM with a global OTA, both parties will mutually agree to 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 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. 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 Mohamed Ahmed Hussain, Controller-General of Immigration, Maldives.

According to Agoda’s inbound search data, the Maldives has seen a 5x uplift (400% increase), since two weeks to prior to the opening announcement on 1 July to date, indicating a clear demand for the destination.

The country’s earlier than expected vaccination roll-out and effectiveness of its Covid-related policies has led to the first signs of recovery by July 2021.

The government’s initial benchmark to bring in 900,000 tourists by the end of the year was surpassed when it hit its one millionth tourist in October.

“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,” John Brown, CEO of Agoda.

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 and employs more than 4,000 staff in 30 countries. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages.

Maldives Border Miles is the world’s first destination loyalty programme for tourists.

Members will earn points based on the duration of stay, visits to celebrate their special occasions, visits on local occasions, frequency of visits, and other aspects. Once reached to a tier, members can enjoy exclusive rewards from all our partners, starting from discounted services to free VIP services.

For more information, please head to www.bordermiles.mv.

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Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry

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In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives

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The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.

For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.

Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.

The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.

Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.

As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.

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Amari Raaya Maldives opens its gates to paradise

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In a grand celebration of luxury and nature’s wonders, Amari Raaya Maldives resort has officially opened its doors, welcoming its first guests to experience a slice of paradise in the Maldives. The exclusive event was attended by the resort’s management team, as well as Atul Chordia, Chairman of Panchshil Realty, the developer behind this magnificent project.

Nestled on a pristine natural island in the heart of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, Amari Raaya promises to be a sanctuary for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape amidst the archipelago’s breathtaking beauty. From the moment guests arrived via Manta Air seaplane, they were greeted with warm hospitality and a taste of Maldivian culture, as they were presented with traditional cultural items and treated to mesmerizing Maldivian dances.

Atul Chordia, the visionary behind Panchshil Realty, and Yuthachai Charanachitta ONYX Hospitality Group’s CEO marked the official opening of the resort by cutting the ribbon, signifying the culmination of a labor of love and dedication to creating a unique haven for luxury travelers.

With 187 villas offering a variety of luxurious experiences, Amari Raaya ensures that every guest’s stay is truly exceptional. Visitors can choose from an array of accommodation options, including the Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas, and interconnecting Family Beach Villas, perfect for creating cherished memories with loved ones.

For those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, the Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas provide panoramic views of the azure waters teeming with marine life. Sunset enthusiasts can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldivian dusk from the privacy of their villas, opting for the Sunset Ocean Villas or Sunset Ocean Pool Villas, promising an unforgettable experience.

Amari Raaya Maldives goes beyond offering captivating villas; it has curated an extraordinary culinary journey for its guests. With eight distinct dining options, visitors can embark on a gastronomic adventure that caters to every palate. From the signature Amaya Food Gallery, serving famous street food and hawker delights, to the rooftop bar Ampers&nd, where guests can savor sunset snacks and cocktails, the resort promises to delight all epicureans. Poolside Italian favorites, freshly caught seafood infused with Maldivian and Asian flavors, and the fun and playful experience of enjoying mobile snacks and drinks served from a bus all add to the culinary magic of the resort.

In the evenings, guests can find a sense of community and immerse themselves in the local culture through live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and regular cultural events and festivities, making every moment at Amari Raaya Maldives an enriching and memorable one.

Amari Raaya Maldives is developed by Panchshil Realty, a name synonymous with excellence in luxury real estate in India. The resort is managed by Onyx Hospitality, renowned for its exceptional and personalized hospitality experiences.

With its official opening, Amari Raaya Maldives invites travelers from around the world to discover the allure of the Maldives in unparalleled comfort and style. As guests arrive at this oasis of luxury and natural splendor, they are sure to find themselves enchanted by the timeless beauty of the islands and immersed in an experience that will linger in their hearts forever.

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