Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson said US President Donald Trump is helping to make Canada great again for business travellers, who he says view the country as less divisive and easier to navigate than its neighbour to the south, Bloomberg reports.
Sorenson said that Trump’s nationalism and harsh rhetoric on immigration have led planners to shift conferences and meetings from the US to Canada, citing “the view that bringing in an international group would be more hassle-free in Canada and maybe a little bit riskier in the US”.
“You’re going to have people coming in from everywhere, and they’re going to be looking at ‘Can we get our people in? Are they going to want to go to that place?’” said Sorenson.
“At the moment there’s a perception around the world that the US is a little less welcoming than it was in the past.”
Financial growth at Canadian Marriott hotel properties is expected to be in the mid to high single digits this year, compared to one to two percent in the US, Sorenson noted.
The Marriott CEO said he has raised the issue of the perceived unfriendliness to international travellers in meetings with Trump administration officials, and Sorenson has repeatedly said that Trump’s efforts to ban travel from Muslim-majority countries is bad for business.