TOURISM players in Davao City have expressed interest to bid for the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (Mice) Congress in 2012 for it to be staged in the city.

Coming in full force, the tourism players headed by Davao Tourism Association president Gene Bangayan, Davao City Council Committee on Tourism chair Susabel Reta, and Marco Polo Executive Assistant Manager Art Boncato Jr. launched Wednesday their logo and audio visual presentation for their bid to host Mice Congress in 2012.

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The congress is an annual event attended by over 600 participants representing corporations and multinational firms that are on the search for destinations for their own employees.

It will be staged in Subic this year and in Cebu City in 2011. General Santos City and Camarines Sur are also bidding for it.

"Globally, it is a $300 billion market. And we want to tap that," Bangayan said during the Club 888 forum at Marco Polo Davao Wednesday.

Despite the relatively small delegation for the Mice Congress, Mary Ann Montemayor, a frontrunner in the tourism private sector, said the event is primarily attended by the upscale market.

"It is corporate driven market that is buffered from the crisis," Montemayor said. "And Davao is capable and prepared for it now."

Official records from the City Tourism Office show that the city has only about 2,700 beds, including those in motorist hotels.

"With only about 500 to 600 attendees, we are confident that we have the hotel rooms and the convention venue for that," Montemayor said.

Other players include the members of Small Hotels Association of Davao, Hotel Sales Marketing Association, Davao Travel Agencies Association, Davao Association of Tour Operators, Davao Cooperative Center for Visitors and Conventions, and the National Association for Independent Travel Agencies. (CPM)