MICE to the rescue


HANOI, 5 September 2017: ASIA DMC has launched a specialist MICE division to curate corporate events and incentives in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, the company reported in press release earlier this week.

It plans to offer the service in China and India where it claims companies are looking for highly personalised events for senior executives and top achievers.

The Hanoi-headquartered company will deliver events managed by teams focusing on iconic destinations such as Angkor Wa in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar and Halong Bay in Vietnam, the company stated.

Heading the new division is Subhash Chandar, who assumes the post of business development manager – MICE.

He will report to ASIA DMC Group Managing Director, Linh Le.

“MICE is not new to us,” said Chandar. “We can handle large and medium sized events – but we are also seeing a market shift as demand increases for more personalised, creative events that are smaller in scale.”

Asia’s Inbound travel companies are finding it tough to grow their leisure travel booking outside of Asia. More European travellers are booking travel direct using online booking services, which causes a massive decline in group tour business. The trend forces DMCs to reconsider their core markets and business model. MICE is one option they are adopting.

There is a marked shift  to very specialised, high earning markets such as luxury travel. Travel firms adopt the concierge business model that offers personal services and high-value experiences not widely available directly online.

The lucrative MICE market is another area that travel firms are tapping. DMCs in Southeast Asia set up departments to handle the events business decades ago, but as the traditional leisure travel business from Europe diminishes MICE departments are now crucial elements.

Once icing on the cake, today they are probably better described as the rice bowl, a necessity to survive.

Cruises are expanding in Asia and this could become a lifeline for Asia’s struggling tour companies.  Cruises continue to rely almost exclusively on tour companies for most of their bookings, worldwide.  Commissions are healthy and the market is now expanding at a fast pace in China.

ASIA DMC is counting on MICE to boost business. In the past year ASIA DMC has handled large MICE groups on visits to Southeast Asia, including the biggest Indian group to visit Cambodia. A total of 350 delegates from Volvo Eicher visited Siem Reap for Eicher Go Pro, an international distributor conference and awards ceremony for their dealers across the globe.

ASIA DMC also recently managed a 200-delegate incentive for Godrej India to Ho Chi Minh City and a 125-delegate meeting and award ceremony for Konica Minolta.

Venues used included Terrace of the Elephants, which can handle up to 400 delegates, which is a part of Angkor Thom in Angkor Wat temple complex and features an Aspara dance performance; island dining on Ban Chan Beach in Halong Bay for up to 100 delegates; and dining at the Reunification Palace for up to 500 delegates in Ho Chi Minh City.

(Source: ASIA DMC with additional comment)