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Tourism

Last updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

 

MICE Industry Development: Sound Strategy Needed

Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The combination of meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) has become an indispensable and increasingly popular trend. This has opened and will continue to open up many opportunities and challenges for event and tourism operators in Vietnam.

Rich potential development
Vietnam is considered one of the safest countries in the world with a stable political and economic background. The Government has introduced a lot of open policies and facilitated trade with a series of bilateral agreements signed and tourism cooperation promoted.

Moreover, Vietnam has abundant natural resources. With the Pacific Ocean tropical climate, Mother Nature endows Vietnam a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare species. Not only that, beautiful natural scenery with many places of interest recognised as World Natural Heritages like Ha Long Bay, recognised by UNESCO as one of the world natural wonders, and many other tourist attractions like Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Da Lat, Sa Pa, Phan Thiet and Da Nang have attracted a large number of international tourists.

On the other hand, Vietnam has many different ethnic groups with time-honoured traditions that create a very rich and unique culture. In general, Vietnamese are friendly, kind, open, dynamic and modern enough to make international visitors feel comfortable and easy to communicate.

With those economic, political, landscape and human characteristics, MICE tourism in Vietnam has grown very strongly. However, in addition to such advantages, we also face many challenges.

Mr Nguyen Xuan Binh, Deputy Director of the Danang Tourism Department, said that infrastructure is now a decisive factor for MICE development. In addition, service quality and human resources are matters of life and death for the MICE industry.

However, in general, Vietnam has just a few hotels with over 500 rooms. Therefore, to serve big conferences, organisers often have to work with many hotels together to provide enough rooms for attendants. In addition, it does not have many large convention centres like the National Convention Centre, Giang Vo Exhibition Centre and Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Event companies are growing rapidly in number. However, very few companies operate professionally and creatively. Particularly, facility systems for events such as professional sound, lighting and vehicles for world-class conferences are not ready for all organisers.

An overall strategy needed
Jackie Han, Deputy General Director of Hoa Binh Group, said, “Authorities should understand that MICE is an industry next to tourism rather than a branch of tourism. MICE tourism is very profitable, even many times more than conventional tourism, if it is invested appropriately. We need a stronger resolution to building MICE into a powerful industry.”

Therefore, to develop the MICE industry in Vietnam, it is necessary to have a comprehensive strategy with concrete actions and engagements of the whole industry.
Mr Nguyen Van Tai, Director of Vietsense Travel Group, said, to develop the MICE industry, Vietnam needs to invest in infrastructure such as building large-scale convention centres and hotels to meet demands and requirements of big international conferences. Traffic systems from air, water and rail to road should be upgraded to smooth mobility. Besides, supporting services such as catering, travelling and tourism also need to be regulated with clear definitions to prevent unfair pricing for international tourists. In addition, Vietnam needs information and communications on courteous behaviours for people, especially those who provide services at tourist sites, to leave good impressions on tourists.

Moreover, event organisers should also have enough capacity for professional services. To do so, specialised classes need to be expanded to improve training quality, support graduates with opportunities to learn and interact with practice. There is a need for an effective communication plan to introduce the image of Vietnamese land and people, its advantages and strong points of MICE tourism to international friends.

Giang Tu

 








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