Tourism experts say that international tourists and businessmen nowadays not only want to attend conferences and exhibitions at hotels and convention centers, but they also want to meet experts to discuss issues in fields of common interests. Therefore, Vietnam travel have been trying to diversify their services to attract more clients.
Many hotels in Vietnam have been introducing special dishes on the websites, and trying to organize cooking classes for their MICE guests. If the guests want, they can even go to market to select ingredients for cooking themselves. In general, hotels assign their cooks, who are in charge of Vietnamese cuisine, to show guests how to cook Vietnam dishes. The cooks also act as “tour guides” in the “tours to the markets”. Cooking classes have become a regular part of the program designed for the guests at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, Rex, Caravelle and InterContinental Asiana Saigon.
Discovering the taste of Vietnamese cuisine is just a part of the service package called “Insider Collection” and the sightseeing tour to Ho Chi Minh City offered by InterContinental Asiana Saigon. The hotels’ Business and Marketing Director Daniel Kipping, said that convention organizing companies can access the hotel's website to choose predesigned normal convention packages, or design the packages themselves according to their demand.
The big hotel chain has introduced a program to be applied at the group’s hotels which includes new services which allow travelers to meet and discuss with famous persons or experts in the fields of culture or sports. The main goal of the program is to provide tourists with deeper knowledge about Vietnam which may be helpful for them in making decisions whether to do business in Vietnam. The program was introduced at InterContinental Singapore in 2010 and InterContinental Asiana Saigon in January 2011.
Through video clips, the hotel has introduced event organizers to trips to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Ho Chi Minh City’s Post Office, Le Cong Kieu antiques street, Cu Chi tunnels, or sightseeing trips in the central area with motorbike taxis – one of the most popular means of transport in the city. Besides service packages with dinners on the cruisers running up and down the Saigon River, participants can also enjoy Vietnam’s iced milk-coffee, learning about the city’s life at 30-4 Park, tasting banh xeo (a kind of cake), purchasing silk products and pictures.
Kipping said that the video clip and the information from Insider Collection should be seen as suggestions for event organizers to design suitable outdoors activities.Caravelle Saigon has also updated its website with information and images about cultural and historical sites, targeting the travelers who seek places to relax or organize trips for businessmen and MICE tourists.
Cooperation will bring benefits for Vietnam travel
Le Trung Tho, Tourism and Service Director of Thanh Thanh Cong company, said that the demand of MICE tourists has become more diversified, and that travelers nowadays always seek information online and order service packages which fit their plans and requirements.
Tho said that more and more MICE travelers wish to learn more about Vietnam through the discussions with experts. They also want to participate in bicycle trips to villages to learn about the lifestyle and traditions of local residents.
The high quality convention service packages are always ordered by foreign groups of businessmen and tourists through event organizers via mail, or ordered on the websites. Therefore, many hotels now pay more attention to developing their websites, which saves money because they can get orders directly from clients instead of via brokers.
Kipping said that clients not only demand meeting rooms with modern equipments, but also order sideline events. As one hotel cannot meet all the demands, it would be better for hotels to join forces to meet clients’ demand.
Business Development Director of InterContinental Singapore David Lam has forecasted that the number of tourists travel to Vietnam, especially businessmen, will increase again after one year of decreasing due to the global economic downturn.