MICE tourism has been a lucrative investment for Quang Ninh and has generated significant income. More than ever, the province is determined to position itself in this segment of tourism with high added value.
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MICE tourism (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) develops significantly in the province of Quang Ninh (North), especially at the end of the year. In the past, this type of travel was mostly limited to meetings and “team building“. Today it includes conferences, but in combination with new tours, health and entertainment activities. The MICE sector is also trying to diversify its services to become a driver of attracting visitors.
“In order to anticipate the increasing demand for MICE tourism, we have set up a space that offers a variety of services and programs that meet the different needs of customers“, shared Nguyên Thai Hung, manager of Saigon Ha Long Hotel.
Good reception capacity
“At the end of the year, when MICE tourism tends to increase due to seminars, meetings, review conferences and business trips, we prepare a network of seven to ten conference halls ranging in size from 70 to 600 m.2. These spaces are suitable for small groups of 10 to 20 people, as well as for events of up to 800 guests. In addition, we offer an exhibition space that can accommodate up to 2,000 people.“, he added.
Muong Thanh Grand Ha Long Hotel is also engaged in promoting this service. “As a hotel specializing in MICE services, we attract a large number of guests at the end of the year. We have installed more than ten new, well-equipped rooms to serve our clients. Our offer includes a large hall with a capacity of approximately 1200 guests, as well as ten smaller rooms that can accommodate from 10 to 300 guests.“, pointed out Dô Diêu Linh, director of Muong Thanh Grand Ha Long.
In addition to large hotels, MICE tourism is gradually expanding to other locations. For example, in the island’s Cô Tô district, the Golden Cô Tô Hotel offers a 150m conference hall2 for about 100 guests, which can also be divided into smaller rooms for conferences and trainings of 20 to 30 people.
In addition, Saigon Ha Long Hotel successfully organized an international emergency medicine conference last September, as well as many other major events.
To attract customers at the end of the year, tour operators also offer attractive tours and itineraries during or after the event. For example, Saigon Ha Long offers a boat trip to Ha Long Bay and swimming in Osen mineral springs. Muong Thanh Grand also plans to organize excursions in this famous bay.
Tô Cô hotels use the opportunity to launch unique tourism products, such as barbecues on the beach or night fishing. According to MICE organizers, hotels care about the well-being of their guests and are ready to organize unique tours to attract tourists.
Recently, Quang Ninh has invested in infrastructure and services to promote MICE tourism. It has 20,000 rooms distributed in 1,380 accommodation facilities, including 214 hotels, 32 tourist circuits, 78 tourist destinations with more than 500 cruise ships. The international conference center of the 5-star FLC Ha Long resort covers an area of almost 23,000 m22 and can accommodate up to 1500 guests.
Difficulties to overcome
According to the Provincial Department of Tourism, during the first six months of this year, Quang Ninh received 8.86 million visitors who generated an income of VND 16.66 trillion, up 56% from the previous year. However, MICE tourism has problems due to the economic recession, and its growth has not reached expectations.
The Saigon Ha Long and Muong Thanh Grand Ha Long hotels hosted three to four groups in October, with an average of about ten groups in the last quarter of the year, a decline from the previous year.
With the effects of the economic recession, many large MICE event organizers have begun to consider overseas destinations and many entities are looking to explore new destinations.
Although Ha Long has long had many prestigious infrastructures for hosting large events and conferences, it is crucial to innovate in order to develop MICE tourism and improve its competitiveness compared to other destinations. It is also important to learn from the experiences of other provinces in order to improve the reception of visitors. In addition, stimulating policies and programs as well as the creation of new products are necessary to attract Vietnamese and foreign tourists.
Text and photos: Nguyên Thành – Hoàng Quynh/CVN