After a long lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ho Chi Minh City is seeing increasing demand for MICE (meeting, incentive, convention, exhibition) tourism from both Vietnamese and foreign customers.
As Vietnam’s economic hub, the city has many businesses with demand for MICE tourism as they seek to combine business and pleasure to thank employees, customers and partners after the difficult pandemic period.
Vietravel Company said since the start of this year it has served 300 MICE delegations with over 20,000 people.
Saigontourist Company has organized MICE tours for 14,000 people.
“MICE businesses have boomed. After the Lunar New Year holiday in February Saigontourist has organised big tours for businesses to hold review meetings and ceremonies for awarding employees. In March we had a record 750 delegates on the Da Nang-Hoi An tour,” Hoang Thuy Linh, deputy director of marketing and IT at Saigontourist, said.
Vu Thi Thanh Hien, deputy director of the five-star Hotel Grand Saigon, said: “[My] hotel has capitalised on this market. We will continue to improve services, products and accommodation. We also enhance marketing of the city … as MICE organisers.”
The city’s Department of Tourism has organised training courses for tour guides, restaurants and hotels on food safety and hygiene and signed pacts with other sectors to better serve tourists.
It has also signed agreements with the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) and the Vietnam Airport Ground Services Co Ltd (VIAGS) for boosting tourism.
It will work with EuroCham to promote MICE and cuisine tourism to the city in 2022-2024.
They will strengthen market research and human resources training, and share experiences in tourism management and operation.
They will step up direct promotion to popularise the city among more European firms and citizens in the country and abroad.
EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany said the tourism sector is recovering and EuroCham appreciated Vietnam’s reopening to tourists and the visa exemption for Europeans.
EuroCham hopes to help the city strengthen its capacity to research, develop its website and train human resources, he added.
In 2022-27 the city and VIAGS will co-ordinate for market research and developing a tourism trademark for the city, thus attracting more MICE tourists.
Travel companies said the favourite destinations in the country for MICE tours are Phu Quoc Island and Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phan Thiet, Vung Tau, Sa Pa, and Dien Bien cities.
Customers prefer destinations with natural scenic spots and good infrastructure and services to accommodate large delegations.