MICE Development Strategy Needed

10:56:36 PM | 4/20/2015

MICE has the potential to make great contribution to socio-economic development in general and tourism in particular; therefore, Vietnam should take MICE into serious consideration to develop a strategy for the promising industry.
Potential not yet fully tapped
MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions. This is a type of tourism in which large groups are brought together for a particular purpose.
Apart from beautiful scenery and unique culture, the venue for MICE should come up with high criteria for infrastructure. MICE events usually take place in international resorts which are suitable for team-building, outdoor party and relaxation after busy days attending conventions and exhibitions.
In comparison with neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, Vietnam has bountiful advantages to develop its MICE industry.
Vietnam is famous for magnificent landscapes, hospitable people and great cuisine. As a developing country, Vietnam’s economic activities are plentiful, with great and constant demands for convention, training course and exhibition organising, product marketing, experience sharing.
Especially, pharmaceutical companies, foreign-invested corporations such as Honda and Toyota frequently need to organise training courses in different factories, different markets for their employees. There are about 500-1,000 participants in each event.
MICE industry has existed in Vietnam for a long time, but not until 2008 or 2009, when the economy was developed to a new level, were these activities expanded with a series of bilateral trade agreements signed as the MICE industry boomed.
Currently, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are exploiting their advantages efficiently. Famous tourist tractions such as Phu Quoc Island, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue, Nha Trang and Hanoi have been listed in MICE itineraries. There are thousands of enterprises working in MICE industry in Vietnam, with annual growth rate of 20 percent.
Advantage of Vietnam tourism
MICE groups often come in large numbers (hundreds of participants) and their expenses are much higher than participants of normal tours. This is because the organiser of international conventions usually book rooms in 4-5 star hotels with high-quality services, and the tour should be tailor-designed to satisfy specific requests. MICE industry brings huge revenue for tourism.
From the experience of Hoabinhtourist & Convention, Director Nguyen Khac Huyen said that the revenue of MICE tourism can be 6 times as much as other types of tourism (in average, each MICE tourist from Europe spends US$700-1000 /day, from Asia, US$400/day).
Professional MICE organization contributes to socio-economic development. The purpose of MICE is to share experience, visit and learn from manufacturing models, honour employees in gala dinners, travel and participate in conventions and exhibitions. Thanks to MICE, employees are motivated to work harder, build capacity, improve skills, and enrich knowledge. The image of companies and their products are widely promoted.
MICE is a combination of services which requires tour operators to provide a full package for the whole group. The services include transportation, lodging, convention organization, team-building, sightseeing, etc. MICE operators compete to provide professional organization and enhance tourism skills. This is an opportunity for them to assert their positions, their brands in tourism industry.
The development of the MICE industry will lead to the development of related services in the supply chain such as food, recreation, shopping, restaurant, hotel, airline, HR, etc.
MICE has specific requirements for infrastructure and related services. At present, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are good examples of making use of their advantages efficiently. Together with shopping tourism, ecology tourism and culture tourism, MICE tourism has been considered the main focus to develop in Ho Chi Minh City.
As one of the five best cities in Asia, Hanoi has been chosen to organize different international and regional events in combination with travelling.
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism regards MICE as a potential segment that Vietnam can exploit and as one of the strategic goals of Vietnam tourism. However, after ten years, Vietnam’s MICE industry has not developed to the ASEAN level.
Thu Huyen