the MICE “tigers” of Southeast Asia
The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) and luxury travel business are two sectors of tourism which are more and more important for our industry and which are now working in tandem.
This is the reason why we now have a special category for “Luxury MICE” serving customers who visit Vietnam for business but would also like to spend some time traveling in style. Some experts think that the MICE “tigers” of Southeast Asia, Singapore and Malaysia, have maxed out their venue capacity and that Vietnam is the fastest-growing MICE destination.
Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City added many more 4 and 5 star international hotels in2016, many of them targeting the MICE market such as the Marriott in Hanoi and Intercontinental Nha Trang. This is good news for tourism recovery in Vietnam and for us at Luxury Travel as we have received significantly more MICE requests, especially from India, the USA, Australia & NZ with groups ranging from 50 to 300 people.
Luxury Travel Vietnam received fifty MICE groups last year, most recently from Thailand. The group spent four days in Hanoi and Halong Bay with a gala dinner at Intercontinental Westlake Hanoi Hotel. We also organized a two-day incentive for 100 delegates costing US$400 per day in Ho Chi Minh City. The cost of “an average lavish tour” ranges from $2,500 to $3,500 per person for a seven-day tour, with some tours priced at over $1,000 a day per visitor.
High-end travelers still have money and time, and they continue to travel,” said Pham Ha, Luxury Travel Ltd founder and CEO. The company has served more than half of the estimated 10,000 high-end travelers to Vietnam with VIP guests of the company including ambassadors, royal families, prime ministers, and a variety of celebrities. “We have a great event planning team who are very customer focused, flexible and detail orientated,” he added.
Corporate companies and MICE planners invariably gravitate towards the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Central Vietnam when choosing a destination for their offsite meetings and incentive trips. As major gateways into the country, they are the logical choices, having the infrastructure and services to handle the unique needs of event organizers and meeting planners. Also, Danang and Nha Trang still have plenty of hidden delights left for visitors to discover.
Now that Vietnam is recognized as a good destination for MICE, the tourism industry, especially luxury hotels and airlines, is promoting the Central coast of Vietnam for MICE events. Combined with its unique and fascinating culture and the natural beauty of the region, central Vietnam is an ideal location for event planners and they can be assured of a well-planned and successful outcome.
Vietnam is suitable for MICE of all sizes in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and now central Vietnam (Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang). The country offers a wide selection of international standard hotels with state-of-the-art conference facilities and meeting rooms as well as a variety of natural and cultural attractions to suit all tastes, golf courses, relaxation activities, health and spa facilities and fine cuisine.
Danang and Nha Trang are the destinations for APEC 2017, now recognized as an important hub for “Luxury MICE”. Billionaires from across the globe, including the Middle East and Asia, will fly to Da Nang in their private planes for a financial and tourism conference held at the InterContinental Da Nang.
Hue and Nha Trang were two destinations in Vietnam on the rise in 2016, according to Trip Advisor, and Nha Trang has been chosen as one of the official venues for APEC 2017. Its infrastructure is improving, the airport is expanding, with new flights regionally and internationally, and more brand-name hotels and resorts have been opened. With 300 days of sunshine each year, Nha Trang has been among the top attractions for both domestic and international tourists for many years, with its deep blue waters and endless white sands.
Although Vietnam does not lack hotels which are suitable for the MICE market, the airports, roads, railways and logistics need to improve to serve MICE travelers better and to be able to compete with Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition, potential MICE destinations such as Danang need more international airline links.
Above all, Vietnam Tourism needs a MICE department to effectively promote the country in key markets. As it stands there is not enough staff to fulfill this role and those that are there are not professional. Despite the current financial crisis, the Asian market is very strong for the MICE market and Vietnam should be focusing on this.
Luxury Travel Ltd (www.luxurytravelvietnam.com) is the MICE specialist in Vietnam, offering years of experience as a reliable business and corporate travel partner in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Luxury Travel Company offers all that MICE planners need to organize successful trips and prides itself in being the premier company in this field for over 12 years now.
“Vietnam still has a long way to go to become a regional MICE destination, but we are eager to tap into this market and Vietnam is very appealing for MICE planners and travelers who want the world’s most authentic experiences. Danang and Nha Trang are perfect for B-leisure (business and leisure),” said Pham Ha. As an award-winning company, Luxury Travel Ltd takes care of the arrangements for any event, big or small, including meetings, conferences, exhibitions or seminar facilities, as well as all land operations for top VIP delegates.
“MICE planners trust our company for tailor-made luxury MICE incentive trips because of our expert advice and professionalism. Luxury Travel has a good reputation in the MICE industry for truly unique, rewarding and enriching experiences for guests. I am very upbeat about the MICE recovery for 2017-2018”, concluded Pham Ha.