Vietnam's tourism is booming, and no where is this happening with more speed than in Danang. The Central Vietnamese city is a rising luminary as a result of strategic investments in tourism and transport infrastructure. Since 2008, the city has seen a three-fold leap in visitor arrivals from 1.2 million to 6.6 million in 2017. Drumming up more hype for the city is a growing and vibrant lifestyle events calendar that add to the city's already strong nature and heritage appeal as a MICE destination.
1. World-class events
All eyes were on Danang when it hosted the 2017 APEC Summit. (Credit: Presidency of the Mexican Republic/Wikimedia Commons)
From hosting high-security ministerial delegations to sustainability and environmental meetings, Danang has consistently proven its capability, infrastructure and service for mega events are world-class. All eyes were on the city when it hosted the 2017 APEC Summit, a week-long series of meetings that attracted 15,000 delegates, including world leaders, ministers and senior officials such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump.
Continuing on its strong track record, the city this year was the chosen destination for the 6th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly in June. About 1,500 delegates ranging from environmental ministers, senior officials from 183 member countries as well as the heads of UN agencies and key organisations were in attendance.
2. Lap of luxury
The city's newest and largest luxury hotel conference, Sheraton Grand Resort Danang, debuted in January.
Not just a city with large convention spaces, Danang has welcomed new levels of luxury in its meetings venues that provide meeting planners with options for large-scale, high-level meetings. Catering to this clientele, the city's largest luxury hotel conference space opened with the debut of Sheraton Grand Resort Danang in January. Spanning over 3,300 sqm, the resort's meetings and convention facilities have the benefit of being adjacent to the five-star luxury beachside resort, offering attentive and seamless events support.
A host of other amenities delivered with high-touch service is also at your fingertips, including six dining destinations offering local and international cuisine, a spa, 24-hour fitness centre, and options for water sporting activities such as sail boating, wind surfing, kayaking and paddle boating.
3. Versatile venues
Whether grand scale or intimate, planners can pick from a wide array at Sheraton Grand Resort Danang.
Whether it's a huge gala function or an intimate lawn dinner, planners can access a variety of venues that cater to every event type.
At the Sheraton Grand Resort Danang, numerous formal functions have been held in its 1,267-sqm Grand Ballroom, such as the gala dinner function of the 6th GEF Assembly, which hosted a total of 1,200 VIP guests and delegates for a sit down-dinner and buffet spread respectively. The resort was also the pick for other glamorous international large-scale gala events and counts Mercedes, Toyota, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Servier and New Balance among its key clients.
Host an intimate sundowner with ocean views at The Party Deck at La Plage.
Providing a breath of fresh air, outdoor venues such as the Pool Lawn, which overlooks the resort's infinity pool and ocean, are also options for a way to break the monotony with an afternoon luncheon or relaxing sundowner. The Party Deck at La Plage, which overlooks the ocean, is another good option for intimate functions.
4. Natural perks of coastal cities
Take a hike up Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills. (Credit: faracowski/Getty Images)
Few coastal city destinations combine the convenience of urban city life with pristine nature scenes and attractions like Danang does.
Within five-minutes from Sheraton Grand Resort Danang sit spectacular scenery such as Marble Mountains and the long stretches of powder white sands of Non Nuoc beach, a quiet destination that has yet to pack in tourists. Take active delegates on a hike up Marble Mountains' cluster of five marble and limestone hills, known for its caves and Buddhist and Hindu pagodas.
5. Seamless air connectivity
International connectivity is fast improving, with the city now receiving flights from 183 international destinations. (Credit: CharlieTong/Getty Images)
Danang enjoys about 70 daily international flights to and from key international destinations in Asia such as Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia, with fly-time falling within a comfortable 1.5- to three-hour range.
Danang International Airport (DAD), being located only two kilometres away from the city centre, also eases the often stressful factor of airport transfers, especially for larger delegate groups.
More reason for optimism is the 70% increase in the number of international destinations this year that bring the current total number to 183. Opened last May, a new US$154 million passenger terminal at DAD now spans over 50,000 sqm, had brought total passenger capacity to four million a year.
6. Vibrant events and happenings
World-class teams from around the world gather to compete at the Danang International Fireworks Festival (Credit: quangpraha/Getty Images)
It's not just MICE events that has landed Danang in the headlines. Notable international lifestyle events and festivals such as the Danang International Fireworks Festival, Danang International Marathon and TECHCOMBANK IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam are generating buzz for the city.
In May, the 2018 edition of the triathlon event drew a record turnout of over 1,600 participants from 56 countries, and organisers and looking favourably towards the 2019 edition, which returns on May 12.
7. Gateway to timeless heritage
Stroll through the ancient walls of Huế's Complex of Monuments, home to Vietnam's last feudal dynasty. (Credit: Eike Leppert/Getty Images)
The city is fortunate to sit within close proximity to not just one but two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Just a 20-minute drive away is the ancient town of Hội An, where groups can marvel at the Chinese, French and Japanese influences that mark the former imperial city. Two hours away, Hue's Complex of Monuments is home to the landmarks of Vietnam's last feudal dynasty that includes citadels and tombs, monuments, temples and pagodas.
This article was brought to you by Sheraton Grand Resort Danang.