Figures released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed that among 1.85 million foreign tourists traveling to Vietnam in the first six months of 2006, as many as 278,000 visitors travelled in combination with attending seminars or conferences. That is an increase of 26,3 percent over the same period last year.
The country`s tourism infrastructure, particularly the hotel and resort system, is developing at a rapid rate. As of May 2006, Vietnam has 175 state-of-the-art hotels raging from three to five star grades, and are able to meet customers` demands for both business and leisure. Vietnam has experienced in hosting international events. The first major event was the 1997 Francophone summit. Since then, it has hosted leaders from 50 countries and territories as well as the ASEAN and ASEM summits.
Soon the country will host the APEC Economic Leaders conference.As for the nation`s potential in the MICE industry, experts from the World Tourism Organisation said, during their recent visit to Vietnam, that its MICE tourism may become a fierce competitor against Singapore, which is regarded as the biggest MICE market in southeast Asia. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) stated that, Vietnam is emerging as a safe destination in the world and an attractive place for foreign investors.