No longer Vietnam’s middle man.

Recent developments in Danang means Vietnam’s third largest city no longer plays second fiddle to MICE competitors Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

STORY BY SAMANTHA COOMBER

A Vietnam economic news report in April confirmed Vietnam’s strong MICE position within the region alongside Malaysia, Laos and Singapore, with an increase of MICE visitors reaching double digits compared to 2010 and 2011. “Vietnam’s MICE industry is growing and will continue to do so as the economy expands and infrastructure is built-up,” reflects regional director of sales,
Sofitel (Accor) South-east Asia, Anthony Slewka-Armfelt.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi have been Vietnam’s key MICE players; however, the Central Coast and epicentre Danang, Vietnam’s third largest city armed with international airport and major seaport, is snapping hard at their heels as a prominent MICE contender – not so much a remote destination, or mere add-on after HCMC and Hanoi MICE business.
“We’re tapping into Vietnam’s vibrant economy which is distinguishing itself as one of the key Southeast Asian economies to watch. Danang is a city in which this economic momentum is very much apparent,” states chief operating officer, Southern Asia and Korea, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Jan Smits. “Danang’s central location, with links to capital Hanoi and HCMC, also makes it a strategic address for our first Crowne Plaza in Vietnam.”
The nation’s unprecedented accommodation boom, with dramatically increased choices for MICE participants, is perhaps the biggest contribution to Vietnam’s rising MICE development, but this especially rings true for Danang. While many hotel projects in Vietnam’s hotspots are put on hold or move at snail’s pace due to the economic fall-out, investors in Danang press ahead with projects: hotel construction here is faster than anywhere else. Interrelated, tourist arrivals in Danang are up eight per cent year-on-year, albeit the domestic market still constitutes the majority.