MICE: great potential for Vietnam's tourism industry

MICE tourism (a type of tourism combining meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) is considered a 'fertile land' for Vietnam's tourism as it holds much potential.
MICE tourism brings a great source of income to the economy
MICE tourism brings a great source of income to the economy. (Photo: Baodautu)

Generating high income

In recent years, MICE tourism has become popular in Vietnam. Many provinces and cities have been chosen to host international events such as the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (Da Nang), the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018, and the 2020 ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Nha Trang)…

Most recently, Thanh Hoa welcomed a delegation of nearly 2,000 guests from Bac Giang to visit the province for 3 days and 2 nights, combining summary events, conferences, and seminars.

MICE has helped Thanh Hoa continue its momentum in tourism development, taking only 6 months to complete 74% of its target of welcoming 10 million visitors in 2022.

In order to increase the attractiveness of MICE tourism, besides focusing on investing in infrastructure, the province has also launched a series of preferential policies such as free admission, reduced ticket prices, use of services, and increasing experiential activities and performances…

MICE tourism is also popular among foreign tourists. On July 15, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed a delegation of 460 guests from India, one of the largest international MICE delegations ever to Vietnam. The delegation was welcomed at the airport and had a private welcome ceremony organized by the city.

Ho Chi Minh City’s MICE policy also supports and encourages businesses, including welcome programs, gifts for the delegation, and reduced ticket prices to attraction sites.

According to the World Tourism Organization, by 2025, the world's MICE tourism revenue will reach over $1.4 trillion, which is concentrated in the Europe and Asia-Pacific region.

Statistics from the National Administration of Tourism (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) also show that revenue from MICE brings about 4-6 times more value than other types of tourism due to the specific characteristics and standard types of services required by MICE.

Furthermore, the MICE delegations are often people of more importance than the regular tour groups and are of larger numbers. Therefore, MICE tourism brings a great source of income to the economy, especially during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to experts, Vietnam has great growth potential for MICE tourism due to the country’s long coastline, beautiful natural scenery, developed infrastructure, transportation, and unique cultural identity.

The "State of Travel Insurance Report" survey in 2022 also shows that Vietnam is voted as one of the safest destinations in the region and in the world. This is an opportunity for provinces with landmarks, long history, diverse cultures, and the ability to meet high standards in terms of accommodation, facilities and venue to develop MICE tourism.

Localities in Vietnam has a great potential to promote MICE tourism
Localities in Vietnam has a great potential to promote MICE tourism. (Photo: Vneconomy)

The era of MICE tourism

In the Strategy to develop Vietnam’s tourism products to 2025 with orientation to 2030, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is determined to attract investment, develop MICE tourism, and create attractive tourism products.

The Chairman of Vietnam MICE Club Nguyen Duc Anh said that, after the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to organize conferences and events increased due to organizations and businesses increasing interactive activities, connections and exchanges in order to commend and encourage employees. This helps businesses and localities with an advantage in MICE tourism recover more quickly.

Sharing the same view, Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh affirmed that the potential for MICE tourism development in Vietnam is still very large.

Deputy General Director of Flamingo Holding Group and CEO of Flamingo Redtours Nguyen Cong Hoan said that at present, although Covid-19 is basically under control, there is still worry, therefore tourism activities combined with work will be chosen instead of pure tourism.

He stressed: “On the other hand, after 2 years of the pandemic, many postponed international conferences, seminars, and events are coming back along with business plans, promotion, customer care, product launch, new products…. This is the era of MICE.”

However, according to experts, to stimulate the development of MICE tourism, synchronous investment is necessary.

According to the Deputy General Director of Flamingo Holding Group, in reality, the development of MICE products is facing a number of challenges.

Firstly, investment in MICE tourism needs to be more methodical and on a larger scale. Vietnam currently has many 5-star hotels, but the number of rooms and meeting room capacity is still limited; not many conventions and exhibition centers meet the requirements for organizing events for large groups of several thousand people.

Secondly, human resources for MICE tourism are limited in both quality and quantity.

Thirdly, the promotion of MICE tourism to the international market is still weak and small.

Therefore, in order to develop this type of tourism, localities and tourism businesses must have a methodical investment strategy in infrastructure and upgrade services professionally.

In addition, special attention should be paid to improving the skills and qualifications of workers capable of welcoming and serving guests, organizing events, and providing quality tourism products and services, both safely and effectively to meet the needs of tourists.

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