HCMC to build more exhibition and convention centers

HCMC to build more exhibition and convention centers

Dao Loan

Delegates are seen interacting on the sidelines of a seminar on MICE tourism development in HCMC – PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC – HCMC will have more sites to organize big conferences and exhibitions, thus promoting the development of meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) tourism.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCMC Department of Tourism, said work on a 14-hectare international exhibition and convention center would commence in Thu Thiem New Urban Area next year. It is expected to be up and running in 2020.

Some other major projects are being developed in Can Gio and Cu Chi districts. And more high-end hotels will be built in the city to meet the demand of MICE guests.

Vu told the Daily on the sidelines of the “HCMC – a new destination for MICE tourism in Southeast Asia” seminar on September 6 that enterprises should also do the marketing and devise attractive products for guests.

According to the Department of Tourism, the first half of 2017 saw  more than 2.7 million foreign tourists coming to the city, up 14% year-on-year. The city currently has over 2,100 hotels with a total of 50,300 rooms, including 1,900 hotels of  one to five stars with 48,700 rooms.

The department cited statistics of McKinsey, a U.S consulting company, as saying that 17% of tourists come to HCMC for work, above the region’s average of 14-15%.

With a lot of traffic infrastructure and service development projects, the city expects MICE tourism to grow strongly in the coming time. However, many enterprises have complained about the shortage of large exhibition and convention space while the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) is often full all year round.

Thuong My An, general director of Saigon Exhibition and Convention Joint Venture Co Ltd, said 53 events were organized at the center last year. The center will be expanded with an additional 10,000-square-meter area to accommodate exhibitions with 1,000 booths instead of the current 500.

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