Vietnam, Thailand join forces to develop MICE tourism
By Hanh Thu - The Saigon Times Daily
HANOI - The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has clinched a memorandum of understanding with Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) on mutual support to develop MICE tourism in the region.
The deal on MICE tourism cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of a series of preparatory events for the establishment in 2015 of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The MOU is aimed at sustainable cooperation among the ASEAN member nations on five areas – bilateral trade, support for delegates at meetings, promotions and exchanges of ASEAN market research.
Supawan Teerarat, exhibition director of TCEB, said the deal would focus on human resource development, culture and economy through exhibitions, conferences and other activities to contribute to the development of MICE tourism in Vietnam.
This cooperation will make it possible for Thailand to raise the Vietnam share in its MICE tourism market to 30% with a total value of US$2.5 million, she said.
Vietnam is also one of the destinations for MICE visitors from Thailand, especially in the exhibition area. TCEB plans to expand the potential of this sector in Vietnam due to its steady growth in market share over the years.
In terms of MICE visitors, Vietnam ranks fourth among the ASEAN countries after Malaysia, Laos and Singapore.
According to Unido des Foires International, total revenues from trade fairs in Thailand amounted to around US$133 million in 2010 as the highest level in the ASEAN region. Meanwhile, fifth-place Vietnam has gradually emerged as a new rival with annual revenues of about US$42 million.
The Thai Ministry of Commerce reported the economic cooperation between the two countries had been on the rise. Bilateral trade between the two countries substantially improved last year, at around US$9 billion, with Vietnam’s exports to Thailand picking up 45%, the ministry said.