British hotel group Rocco Forte has plans to have 25 to 30 hotels across major European cities in the next three to five years.

It currently has 14 properties across Europe. Most of these  new hotels will come up in Italy, reported Financial Times.

The hotel group, which was founded by Sir Rocco Forte in 1996, plans to open four hotels in Italy in 2020 and one in China.

Meanwhile, the company is also focusing on long-term rental accommodation business.

This is seen as part of its efforts to benefit from an expanding rental accommodation market as travellers are seeking for a far more independent stay than a conventional hotel provides, reported the publication.

The group opened its first Rocco Forte House in Rome this year and intends to open more apartments in the coming years.

Sir Rocco was quoted by The Financial Times as saying: “You can’t call it Airbnb as it’s a certain different level. There is a bit of a trend in that direction and there’s no reason for us not to take advantage of it.”

He further added that  his customers want “a high level of travel and experience and they are not too bothered about how much they spend.”

Although the 2008 financial crisis impacted the hotel business at large, the luxury hotel market has been a little more buoyant since then and pulled in investments from international firms.  In 2015, Marriott acquired premium chain Starwood resorts, while InterContinental Hotels Group acquired luxury resort spa firm Six Senses earlier this year.

For the year to 30 April, Rocco Forte generated revenues of £219m, which is 6% more than the corresponding period of 2018. Due to expansion costs, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew only by 0.5% to £34.6m.