VIETNAM’S coastal city of Da Nang aims to be a new MICE hub for business in Asia owing to its unique beach-city setting, safe and accessible transport, and innovative travel programs and incentives.
Mary McKeon, a team leader for the Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism (ESRT) Programme, said that European travelers were keen on visiting Da Nang. Last year alone, 4.6 million people visited the city, over a million of whom were international travelers.
However, it seems that Da Nang has a long way to go in positioning itself as a major MICE city like Bangkok or Singapore. McKeon added that advertisements, public relations, trade fairs, press conferences, events, social media promotion and trade workshops could help the city become a MICE destination.
Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Da Nang Department of Tourism, said that the city’s major weaknesses included the lack of a MICE development strategy, collaboration for local tourism development, direct flights from Europe, North America and Australia, human resources, technical facilities, and support services such as night entertainment, shows, and souvenirs.
“We do not have an international-level convention centre yet. And we need to attract airlines to open flight routes to Da Nang, as the new international terminal will be completed and put into operation next year,” he added.
Last month, Da Nang saw its first ever MICE event, a tourism expo that attracted more than 100 domestic and foreign travel agents.
In conjunction with the event, the Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that there is a great opportunity to combine business events with other outdoor activities programs such as a visit to the beach, theme park, water parks, great golfing resorts, or sightseeing at a vast array of historical and cultural sites.