Vietnam looks north

China is grabbing more attention from Vietnam’s business events suppliers, as the market continues to feed strong footfalls to various cities across the country.

The stunning cityscape of Ho Chi Minh City

China continues to be a vital source market for Vietnam as efforts to boost the business events sector step up a gear.

Vu Nam, deputy director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said China is Vietnam’s top performer, with the country welcoming more than four million visitors in 2017 – a 48 per cent year-on-year increase.

The stunning cityscape of Ho Chi Minh City

He added the business events market is also of increasing importance, with a rising number of Chinese business travellers heading to central Vietnam, which is emerging as a hub for corporate gatherings.

Marketing campaigns highlighting the area’s capacity for hosting events, coupled with its long stretches of beaches and rich culture, will be stepped up throughout 2018, with VNAT attending a host of tradeshows and events this year to promote Vietnam’s potential to China.

As well, general destination promotion efforts by VNAT include launching a Mandarin website, hosting fam trips and increased advertising supported by a heftier budget.

Also tapping into China’s potential, is Asia DMC, which in December last year, created a dedicated business events department in China equipped with a Chinese- and English-speaking team. It offers a range of itineraries and services that take in a range of cultural activities – an element of business trips that the Chinese market is increasingly demanding.

Tran Thi Lan, Asia DMC’s head of Chinese market development, told TTGmice that Chinese planners especially seek “memorable, thematic experiences” that will leave their delegates impressed.

Nguyen Duc Quynh, deputy general director of Furama Resort Danang, has noted a rise in the number of Chinese visitors to the coastal city in central Vietnam in the last five years, since the commencement of the first China-Danang flight.

Furama Resort Danang is part of the larger Ariyana Tourism Complex, which comprises the new Ariyana Convention Centre, Furama Villas Danang and the International Convention Palace.

He added: “Prior to 2017, most Chinese guests visited Danang in leisure groups but now, more and more MICE groups are choosing Danang as the destination for their events.”

Three years ago, the five-star resort opened sales and marketing offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou. A monthly newsletter in Mandarin about Furama’s facilities and business event activities is distributed to tour operators in China and Hong Kong, while a Mandarin version of its website is under construction.

In 2017, Chinese guests accounted for 12 per cent of Furama’s international guests, and this is expected to increase to 18 per cent by the end of this year.

Nguyen said: “This will definitely be achieved as the number of RFPs from China has increased by 45 per cent.”

The Reverie Saigon, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is also carrying out its own marketing campaigns to attract the attention of Greater China’s business events market. It has a dedicated public relations agency to handle outreach, specifically to top-tier media in the region.

Its general manager Kai Speth said: “We recently conducted a very effective media roadshow in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing to further showcase the hotel, the destination and strengthen brand awareness in those key markets. That speaks on how highly we regard the (Greater) China market and its potential.”

He predicted the Chinese business events market will continue to shine throughout 2018.

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