The Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) in Vietnam held an event on June 22 to set up connections with Vietnamese travel management agencies and businesses to promote the growth of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) tourism after COVID-19 was put under control.
The event drew representatives from 25 travel agencies, localities and businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Vietnamese tourism management agencies and more than 50 travel firms in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The RoK is one of the major tourism markets of Vietnam. In 2019 before COVID-19 broke out, Vietnam welcomed about 4.3 million Korean tourists, up 23.1% over the previous year, making the RoK the second largest tourism market of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, in that year, 554,000 Vietnamese travelled to the RoK, of whom 73,000 took MICE tours.
In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic posed adverse impacts on the global tourism sector, including tourism of Vietnam and the RoK. After COVID-19 is put under control, from June 1, 2022, the RoK Government has worked to promote the recovery and development of tourism, including MICE tourism.
At the same time, Vietnam has fully reopened its tourism from March 15. In the first five months of this year, international arrivals to Vietnam reached 229,000, 4.5 times higher than that in the same period last year, including 56,500 from the RoK, a surge of 334% compared to the same time in 2021.
Pham Van Thuy, Vice Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, asked the KTO to give more favourable conditions for people of both countries to travel to each other, and travellers from a third country to visit the two nations.
According to KTO Chief Representative in Vietnam Lee Jae-hoon, the RoK highly values Vietnam’s potential in MICE tourism, affirmed that his country always welcomes Vietnamese firms to take MICE tours in the RoK. He expressed his belief that the event will create more opportunities for tourism sectors of both sides to foster partnership.
The RoK is currently considered a centre of MICE tourism in Asia thanks to high quality infrastructure system in the majority of its cities such as Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Incheon, Gyeonggi and Gangwon.