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2011 a bumper year for high-end tourism

VietNamNet Bridge – All the travel firms in HCM City have reported a bumper crop in summer 2011 with revenue, especially from luxurious clients.

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, Marketing Director of Saigontourist, said that in June and July, the travel firm served more than 15,000 domestic MICE (meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition) tourists. This kind of tourism has become most popular than ever.

“A lot of clients have registered the tours for the groups of 300-1000 travelers and different types of services,” she said.

Summer is the ideal time for companies, enterprises and schools to organize MICE tours for their staff. A lot of businesses do not hesitate to spend big money to book high end tours to award their staff.

In early June, a group of 500 travelers of the Vietnam-Australia School took a tour to Mui Ne with associated programs Gala dinner and team-building. The group of 900 travelers of Truong Vinh Ky School visited Da Lat City, and the group of 400 travelers from Glaxo Smithkline organized the Family Day at the same time. Meanwhile, a group of 1400 travelers from Cai Lan Vegetable Oil Company departed in July.

Other travel firms have said the MICE tourism season seems to come a bit earlier this year. Fiditour has reported the 20 percent increase in the number of MICE tourists in the first five months of the year. Van Hoa has reported its sources as saying that by the end of the first half of the year, Saigontourist had served more than 40,000 domestic and foreign travelers.

In June 2011, Fiditour continuously signed high value MICE tours. The travel firm expects to serve 60,000 MICE tourists this summer, an increase of 32 percent over the same period of the last year.

Most recently, a group of travelers with different nationalities from Premier Oil arrived in HCM City – Hoi An ancient town and the sea city of Da Nang on June 10-12. After that, the high ranking MICE groups from QBE Insurance also arrived in Vietnam and traveled to Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue City.

Hoang Minh Tien, Deputy Director of the HCM City branch of Hanoitourist, also said that the number of travelers registered domestic tours in summer has far exceeded the expected numbers, while the travelers in groups account for 80 percent of the total clients who have booked tours at Hanoitourist.

Also according to travel firms, most of MICE tourist groups in 2011 used the hotel services, meals and conferences with the higher class services than in the previous years.

According to Saigontourist, on July 5, the 5-star cruise SuperStar Virgo of Star Cruises docked at Lotus port in HCM City, brining 2700 travelers and the crew, who then followed the itinerary to visit HCM City, Cu Chi tunnel, My Tho in Tien Giang. The cruise would dock the HCM City’s ports again on September 13.

The fact that international tourists flock to Vietnam with inter-route tours has pointed out the potential channel that provides tourists to Vietnam. Bui Nguyen Tam Dang, Foreign Market Director of Vietravel said Vietravel received three groups of 700 Japanese travelers on July 4-6. This was the biggest group of Japanese travelers to Vietnam after the tsunami and earthquake catastrophe, which marks the revival of the market.

“Despite the natural calamities, Japan remains a market with great potentials which can recovery rapidly and strongly. Vietravel now focus on exploiting the market,” he said.

It is expected that the number of Japanese travelers to Vietnam in 2011 would increase by 15-20 percent over 2010.