Hotel room shortage looms as MICE arrivals increase hinh anh 1Further growth of the MICE market could result in room shortages (File photo)

HCM City (VNA) - A sharp increase in MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Event) tourist arrivals in HCM City has fuelled concern among tourism firms over possible shortages of hotel rooms and conference halls.

Major hotels have reported high occupancy rates in the first quarter of 2017, with many four- and five-star hotels managing over 80 percent in February.

There is a match between demand and supply at the moment, but if the MICE market grows further, there would be a high possibility of room shortage for MICE tourists, a source at the Saigontourist Travel Service Company warned.

With the number of MICE visitors increasing steadily since last year, some tourism companies moved some groups to other cities and provinces.

HCM City has great potential for MICE tourism but the city needs to invest more in infrastructure, hotels and convention centres, Nguyen Ngoc Chau, Chairman of Ben Thanh Tourist, said.

As of last February the city had 1,926 star-rated hotels with 48,182 guest rooms, according to the city Department of Tourism.

The department has urged the city administration to offer incentives for building and expanding three- to five-star hotels.

Tourism firms have called for building more exhibition and convention facilities. Currently there are only two such centres: GEM Centre in District 1 and Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7.-VNA