Competition between destinations has been put to one side as Viet Nam and Thailand develop a co-operative strategy for the lucrative Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry in a new agreement finalized in Ha Noi. The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) vice chairman Hoang Van Dung and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) director Supawan Teerarat were signatories to what can be seen as a milestone in international destination cooperation.
The agreement would help enhance co-operation between businesses and facilitate MICE expert training programmes, and the VCCI would closely work with the TCEB to promote trade and MICE activities to stimulate business development.
Viet Nam is one of Thailand’s potential markets in the MICE industry, especially in the exhibition sector. Over 470,000 Vietnamese visitors travelled to Thailand last year, up 18% year-on-year and Viet Nam ranks fourth among ASEAN nations in the number of tourists to Thailand, after Malaysia, Singapore and Laos.
The agreement would focus on human resources development, and cultural and economic co-operation through MICE with Viet Nam’s market set to rise to 30% and would be worth an estimated US$2.5 million.
Thailand’s Reed Tradex, a prominent exhibition organiser in Southeast Asia, commented on the importance of sufficient support from the Government for development of the MICE Industry saying that there should be assistance for players in the industry to organise good exhibitions and to bring foreign participants to Viet Nam.
They also observed that even though quality venues are avalable, as the market keeps growing, more space will be needed. The growing popularity of Viet Nam as an attractive MICE destination a has much potential and should be promoted.