MEGAWORLD Corp.’s hotels and leisure arm is not expecting a rise in bookings during the upcoming national elections, but it will instead bank on bookings for hybrid meetings and in-person conferences.

“It may not be the same levels of the previous election in terms of being able to capture the business for the hotels that we have,” Megaworld Hotels and Resorts Group General Manager Cleofe C. Albiso said in a webinar on Thursday.

“During this election time and in the crisis that we are in, we are looking at being able to capture hybrid meetings like what we are doing now,” she said.

This is a stark contrast compared with previous elections when its hotels business was able to maximize bookings from candidates who were on their campaign trail. However, the segment remains optimistic.

The company said its virtual event management platform has been useful in steering business despite the pandemic.

“It’s given us a number of business, really substantial, to cover up for the business that we don’t have coming from our corporate accounts so the hybrid meetings, there will be requirements for food deliveries, there will be avenues for us to be able to capture business for face-to-face meetings as well,” Ms. Albiso said.

Megaworld’s hotels are currently divided into three, according to their purpose.

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas Richmonde Hotel, and Hotel Lucky Chinatown currently serve as essential stays; Twin Lakes Hotel, Belmont Hotel Boracay, Savoy Hotel Boracay, and Richmonde Hotel Iloilo as “leisure hotels”; and mixed-use hotels such as Kingsford Hotel Manila, Belmont Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel Manila and Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown.

Megaworld’s hotels and resorts segment is hoping that the next administration can address vaccine hesitancy to help the country achieve herd immunity, fast-track vaccinations for minors, and for calibrated transitions in easing travel restrictions in the country.

In preparation for a tourism boom once pandemic guidelines allow, Megaworld aims to complete Belmont Hotel Mactan Newtown, Grand West Hotel, Chancellor Hotel Boracay by 2023.

On Thursday, shares of Megaworld at the stock market declined by 0.32% or one centavo to close at P3.08 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte