The number of MICE travelers to Vietnam has been increasing steadily in the last few years, but Vietnam is still far from becoming an outstanding destination for MICE travelers.
In early January 2019, the World Cardiology Conference organization board for the first time decided to organize the event in Da Nang instead of HCMC, after Da Nang successfully organized the 2017 APEC Summit.
Pham Mai Hoang Loc from Saigontourist confirmed that after APEC Summit, the travel firm got orders from big groups of MICE tourists. “Da Nang is now a hot destination for international MICE travelers,” she said.
Representatives of other travel firms said the same. Previously, Da Nang also attracted MICE tourists, but the tours were only on a small scale. Only after the 2017 APEC Summit, Da Nang become a destination for big events. The number of conferences with thousands of attendees has increased rapidly.
“We suggest a lot of destinations, including Nha Trang, Ha Long, HCMC, Hanoi and Da Nang, but clients choose Da Nang,” said Tran Xuan Hung, chair of Viking, which is organizing an event for 3,500 MICE travelers from Indonesia, who will stay from March 27 to April 11.
Nguyen Duc Quynh, deputy CEO of Ariyana Da Nang, which has a 12,000 square meter international conference, said Ariyana opened in late 2017, but it is running at 50 percent of capacity.
A high number of international events took place there, including events with 4,500 participants and conferences with guests from 150 countries.
“The real capacity is higher than expected,” Quynh said.
A branding expert said that for MICE tourism, important events such as APEC Summit in Da Nang and the US-DPRK Summit in Hanoi offer ‘golden opportunities’ for Vietnam to attract tourists.
A representative of a travel firm said that his firm had been chosen by clients, even though it did not have to attend the international bid, because it was known as one of the key service providers at the US-DPRK Summit.
Reports all show the steady rise in number of MICE tourists in recent years. The operational capacity of conference and exhibition centers is relatively high. In HCMC, there is only one large international exhibition and conference center in district 7, which has been fully booked until the end of the year. Event organizers now find it difficult to organize international exhibition events.
Le Hoang Yen, chair of Global DMC, said the number of Global DMC travelers this year is expected to be 20 percent higher than last year.