According to some travel firms, hotels and exhibition centres in Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City), in the last year, the number of MICE tourists was very modest and some companies had no MICE clients. This yea, however, the situation has been better.
Most clients are coming from places nearby in Asia and the scale of these groups is smaller than in previous years.
Nguyen Viet Hung, General Director of Fiditourist, estimated that, in the first six months of 2010, they received 25 groups totaling 1300 tourists, an increase of 22 percent in comparison with the same period of 2009. The tourists mainly came from Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, whereas European tourists have not returned yet.
Bui Viet Thuy Tien, Managing Director of Asian Trails Company, commented that MICE partners in Europe last year refused to even receive price quotations, while now they are asking about prices and services. Some partners have also booked tours again.
“We will begin having MICE clients this September, but the numbers remain modest. I hope that the totals will be higher in 2011,” she remarked.
New World Saigon has also reported the return of MICE tourists. In 2009, MICE tourists from Singapore and Hong Kong kept quiet, but now they have begun returning to Vietnam. The hotel has received booking from MICE groups for August to November and most come from nearby markets.
“More and more clients are coming to Vietnam, but the groups seem to be smaller than in previous years,” maintained Pham Van Liem, Sales Director of New World. “Some groups of tourists have booked to stay for three nights and reserved 50-100 rooms. Meanwhile, in previous years, there were groups that booked 250 rooms.”
Tran Van Hau, Managing Director of Saigon Exhibition and Convention Company also stays optimistic about business in 2010. He commented that the Saigon exhibition and convention centre is fully reserved for events in July, September, October and November.
Hau believes that business in 2011 will be more prosperous because there will be many big events, including large-scale exhibitions that are organized every two years for cars, wood furniture and maritime products. According to Hau, though European clients have not returned, many Europeans have asked for information for travel in 2011.
According to HCM City Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, 1.5 million foreign tourists arrived in HCM City in the first six months of the year. Of these, 300,000 people came for trade purposes. The city’s 3-5 star hotels provide 199 convention rooms and smaller rooms are available at convention and exhibition centres.
(Source: Vietnam net)