Hanoi’s MICE tourism set for strong growth in year-end

By the end of the year, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) will become the primary focus for numerous travel agencies.

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According to Vice Chairman of Hanoi Travel Association Le Thanh Thao, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) tourism, which is a model for business travelers to stay longer, is picking up after the Covid-19 pandemic and promises strong year-end growth in 2023. Thao said the city has recently developed a plan to boost MICE tourism, which includes improving services and promoting key products such as cultural tourism, night tours, and food. The association has also strengthened partnerships with provinces and cities to attract more business travelers to Hanoi, leveraging the advantages of the city’s tourism industry. It is expected that MICE tourism will make a significant contribution to total revenue. Saigontourist Hanoi, a branch of Saigontourist Travel Services Company, has already served more than 40,000 domestic and foreign MICE tourists in the third quarter of this year alone, with impressive year-on-year growth. The customer base of Saigontourist Hanoi consists mainly of companies in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals and banking and finance. Vietluxtour Hanoi’s general manager, Le Hanh, expects a rebound in MICE tourism, despite individual travelers cutting back on spending due to financial constraints. Hanh emphasized that MICE tourism will be the main business for many travel agencies at the end of the year, but attracting domestic MICE tourists is difficult and luring foreign tourists is even harder due to fierce competition. Trinh Le Anh, Vice President of the Vietnam MICE Travel Club, highlighted the importance of policy synchronization, strategic planning, and action from localities, enterprises, and communities for the development of MICE tourism. Anh also stressed the need for investment in facilities, quality services, human resources, and professionalism to attract high-end MICE visitors. Hanoi’s plan is to make tourism a cutting-edge economic sector by 2025, focusing on MICE tourism, and expecting to welcome about 48-49 million tourists by 2030, including 13-14 million international arrivals, with estimated revenues of VND270-300 trillion (US$11.6-12.9 billion). Adding value to MICE tourism, Nguyen Duc Anh, President of the Vietnam MICE Travel Club, suggested leveraging Hanoi’s cultural and historical attractions, including world heritage sites, museums, traditional handicraft villages, and culinary culture. Duc Anh emphasized the importance of combining cultural values with MICE tourism and promoting night tours to historical sites and culinary culture. Customizing MICE tourism products, developing appropriate programs, and strengthening international promotion with the participation of multiple agencies, departments, and enterprises were also recommended for the successful development of MICE tourism in Hanoi.

South Korean tourists attend a MICE travel fair in Hanoi. Photo: Le Nam/The Hanoi Times

MICE service is offered at Melia Hanoi Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel