HA NOI (VNS) — Promoting Viet Nam as an attractive Meeting, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibition (MICE) destination will be a key factor in developing the nation's tourism sector, said director of Hoa Binh Tourist and Convention Company Nguyen Khac Huyen.
MICE tourism has attracted a large number of visitors to Viet Nam, with many of the country's major cities playing host to a wide range of international events, including Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City.
"The authorities should recognise that MICE tourism brings a big profit for [the] Vietnamese tourism industry. That's why we have to put investment behind it," he said.
"Tourism companies estimate that Western and Asian tourists spend an average of US$700-1,000 and $400 per day, respectively," said Huyen .
"The economic benefit of MICE tourism is six times more than traditional leisure-based tourism," he said.
Research shows that after attending business events, MICE visitors then engage in tourism activities exploring Viet Nam's natural landscapes and cultural hotspots.
Seeking to capitalise on the trend, domestic travel operators have seized the opportunity to organise trips to Da Nang and HCM City. Seminars have also been organised to raise the quality of tours offered to MICE travellers.
Huyen suggested that recognising the unique characteristics of MICE tourists and training professional tour guides would be important to building the country's MICE tourism sector.
"We also lack the human resources to organise high-level meetings and summits," he said.
"It's necessary to train interpreters to serve at these conferences."
Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, vice director of Vitours, is leading a push to bring more MICE tourism to Da Nang. She said Da Nang was an ideal place for MICE tourism in Asia, with beautiful attractions, high-ranking hotels and conference facilities.
"After a working day at the conference room, tourists love to join team building activities on the beach or enjoy traditional art performances," she said.
"In my opinion, we should add night-time activities to the tourists' schedule," said Lien.
"MICE tourists often come in groups of hundreds, so we should take advantage of this opportunity to introduce traditional Vietnamese culture and art," she said.
An association of MICE tourism enterprises would also help capitalise on the growing market, said Huyen.
"There are thousands of travel businesses working in the MICE sector. It's time to establish a society of MICE travel agents to focus on MICE tourism development."
"Together, we can solve the shortcomings, support each other and improve the service quality," he said.
Travel agencies join FAM trips in central region
Over 200 representatives from travel agencies, Asian airlines and experts from across the world will join familiarisation (FAM) trips at destinations in the central city of Da Nang and Hoi An.
The FAM trips, which are organised by Korean Airlines from today until Friday, are part of a co-operation initiative between the central travel agencies and airlines in boosting tourism in the central region.
As scheduled, operators and managers from travel agencies will also participate in the "World Longest Spring Roll record", which will be recognised by the World Guinness Records, under the Asia Pacific Onboard Travel, at Hyatt Regency hotel on Thursday.
The central city targets to host 3.1 million tourists this year. — VNS