17:23 | 02/10/2015 Entertainment
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City already has perfect conditions to develop meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism. But it should further promote MICE cooperation and branding.
An event organized in Ho Chi Minh City
MICE tourism development potential
MICE tourism has developed strongly in Vietnam in recent years, especially in major economic centers like Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism La Quoc Khanh, high-class hotels and event organizers have benefited from the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) since its establishment in 2008. Recent improvements in visa regulations, security and infrastructure have contributed to the development of local tourism, attracting more MICE visitors to the city.
In the first eight months of 2015, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed approximately 2.83 million foreign tourists, a five percent increase over the same period last year, with the number of MICE visitors increasing by 60 percent.
Leading city travel agents, Saigontourist arranged bookings for more than 20 domestic MICE delegations to the south in August, welcoming more than 5,100 tourists and recording nearly VND22 billion in revenue, said Saigontourist spokesperson Doan Thanh Tra.
Branding MICE tourism is needed
According to Terraverde Travel With Senses Director Vu Minh Anh, Ho Chi Minh City is likely to become a key MICE tourist destination. The city has sufficient infrastructure conditions and determination to develop MICE tourism, but has failed to make use of its strengths to boost MICE tourism. Currently, it has neither a MICE tourism brand nor MICE-related value-added and utility services such as shopping and entertainment.
To better improve the effectiveness of tourism investment, links between tourism administrative authorities and travel companies should be further tightened while the public-private partnership should be promoted as a key strategy along with state support, said Executive Director at AmCham Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City Herb Cochran.
Becoming a key MICE tourist destination in the Southeast Asian region would help Ho Chi Minh City secure more international meetings and lure more tourists, contributing significantly to budget revenues and GDP. This year, the city expects to welcome 4.7 million international tourists, a seven percent increase over last year.