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Hanoi's MICE tourism promises vigorous year-end growth
Anh Kiet 07:51, 2023/12/14
MICE will be the main business for many travel agencies by year end.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) tourism, which is a model for business travelers to stay longer, is picking up and promises strong year-end growth in 2023, according to Vice Chairman of Hanoi Travel Association Le Thanh Thao.

Thao said the city has recently drawn up a plan to boost MICE tourism, under which destinations will continue to improve services and promote key products, including cultural tourism, night tours and food.

"In addition, the association has strengthened ties with provinces and cities to bring more business travelers to Hanoi. With the current advantages of Hanoi's tourism industry, MICE is expected to make a substantial contribution to total revenue," Thao added.

South Korean tourists attend a MICE travel fair in Hanoi.  Photo: Le Nam/The Hanoi Times

Saigontourist Hanoi, a branch of Saigontourist Travel Services Company, has catered to a total of more than 40,000 domestic and foreign MICE tourists in the third quarter of this year alone. About 32,200 of them are local visitors.

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, the company's director of marketing and communications, told The Hanoi Times that this is quite an impressive growth, around 10% year-on-year. "Our customer base is made up of companies in the two fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals and banking and finance," Tra added.

Le Hanh, the general manager of Vietluxtour Hanoi, said individual travelers are cutting back on their spending due to financial constraints. However, companies are still investing in training, so we expect MICE tourism to rebound.

"MICE tourism will be the main business for many travel agencies at the end of the year. However, attracting domestic MICE tourists is difficult, and luring foreign tourists is even harder as competition is fierce," Hanh told The Hanoi Times.

Trinh Le Anh, Vice President of the Vietnam MICE Travel Club under the Vietnam Tourism Association, informed that before the Covid-19 pandemic, the average number of inbound MICE visitors accounted for 20-30% of total arrivals, reaching 60% in peak months. Among them, European MICE tourists, identified as high-end visitors, spent US$700-1,000 per day, accounting for about 20%, while Asian visitors spent about US$400 per day.

"The development of MICE tourism requires synchronization of policies and strategies as well as action from localities, enterprises and communities. First is the planning and implementation for this type of tourism, followed by the training and quality of human resources," Anh said.

MICE service is offered at Melia Hanoi Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel

He emphasized that the key to success in MICE tourism today is professionalism. MICE tourism, shifting towards high-end visitors, including business travelers who spend 4-6 times more than ordinary consumers, depends on connectivity and careful location selection.

Under the city's plan, Hanoi will focus on investing in facilities to improve the quality of services and human resources to make tourism a cutting-edge economic sector by 2025, prioritizing MICE tourism.

By 2030, the city is expected to welcome about 48-49 million tourists, including 13-14 million international arrivals, generating revenues of VND270-300 trillion (US$11.6-12.9 billion).

MICE tourism could be linked to cultural values

According to Nguyen Duc Anh, President of the Vietnam MICE Travel Club, the leveraging of destinations with historical and cultural values will create a typical MICE tourism product of Hanoi.

"Hanoi is the capital of thousands of years of civilization, with a wealth of tangible and intangible values. Many are listed as world heritage sites, museums, traditional handicraft villages and rich culinary culture. Businesses providing MICE tourism services need to add value to this type of tourism by capitalizing on these treasures," he said.

He added that the capital is rich in tourism resources, especially cultural potential. "Therefore, it is important to combine cultural values with MICE tourism, as well as to combine MICE tourism with night tours to historical sites and culinary culture," Duc Anh stressed.

He noted that Hanoi also needs to customize MICE tourism products, draw up an appropriate MICE tourism development program, and strengthen international promotion with the participation of numerous agencies, departments, and enterprises.

TAG: Vietnam news Hanoi news MICE tourism in Hanoi year-end growth
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