Mumbai, Apr 6 (PTI) Sarovar Hotels, with properties in more than 50 destinations in India and Africa, is eyeing 100 hotels by 2020, and is looking for opportunities to enter the Middle East market, a senior executive has said.

“We have 75 operational properties and 25 under various stages of development, including two in Africa. We are expecting to have 100 hotels by 2020,” Sarovar Hotels managing director Ajay Bakaya told PTI here.

The company currently has three operating hotels in Africa, he added.

With an average 80 rooms, the company currently has 6,000 rooms and will be adding another 2,000 rooms with the completion of the pipeline, he said.

With this expansion, the hospitality group will also add more than 3,000 people to its existing workforce to take the total to over 13,000 employees by 2020.

The hospitality group has a strong presence in the northern region of the country followed by south, west and then east, he said.

The company has three brands, including Sarovar Premiere offering upscale 5 star properties, Sarovar Portico with full-service 3 and 4 star hotels and Hometel an economy or 3 star hotel.

“Sarovar Portico is our fastest growing brand and we expect our maximum growth in this category,” he added.

The company, which owns two properties, follows asset light model and is into management contract, Bakaya said.

“We always actively look for suitable opportunities and are focused in the leisure and resort segment. Going forward we would like to add more properties under these two segments as since last 10 years, they have been growing and will continue to grow further,” he added.

Bakaya, further said, the company is planning overseas expansion and is looking to foray into the middle east.

“After Africa, we are now looking at entering the middle east, due to its proximity with India. However, no deal has been signed yet,” he added.

With strong fundamentals, things are looking positive for the industry, Bakaya said adding that in 2018, the hospitality sector is likely to witness 8-9 per cent growth compared to 6-7 per cent in 2017.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.