Trump rhetoric is push­ing travellers north to Canada

Irish Independent - Business Week - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Katie Dmitrieva

DI­VI­SIVE lan­guage and poli­cies from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump are help­ing push busi­ness travellers north of the bor­der, the head of Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional Inc. said last Wed­nes­day.

Large groups of travellers, par­tic­u­larly for con­fer­ences, are chang­ing reser­va­tions to friend­lier cities such as Toronto over US op­tions “with the view that bring­ing in an in­ter­na­tional group would be more has­sle-free in Canada and maybe a lit­tle bit riskier in the US,” chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Arne Soren­son said in an in­ter­view in Toronto.

Revpar growth, a mea­sure of fi­nan­cial per­for­mance based on rev­enue per avail­able room, will be in the “mid- to high sin­gle dig­its” in Canada this year, com­pared with 1pc to 2pc in the US, Soren­son said.

Revpar growth alone doesn’t in­di­cate whether travellers are chang­ing their des­ti­na­tion.

“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?’” Soren­son said, sipping a cap­puc­cino in a meet­ing room of the Ritz-Carl­ton ho­tel.

Soren­son cited the US pres­i­dent’s ef­forts to ban travellers from some Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries and speeches that em­pha­sise na­tion­al­ism and crit­i­cise cur­rent im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy. In Canada, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has pub­licly de­fended Mus­lims and ex­tolled im­mi­gra­tion.

Mar­riott is bring­ing up the is­sue in con­ver­sa­tions with the White House on “wel­com­ing vis­i­tors from abroad,” Soren­son said, de­clin­ing to pro­vide de­tails.

Canada’s econ­omy is boom­ing, ex­pand­ing faster than any Group of Seven na­tion’s and fore­cast to grow at an av­er­age of 2pc an­nu­ally over the next five years.

In the US, gross do­mes­tic prod­uct grew by 1.5pc last year, though it is fore­cast to reach 2.4pc next year, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of econ­o­mists by Bloomberg.


Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s stance on im­mi­gra­tion is be­lieved to have had a neg­a­tive im­pact on vis­i­tor num­bers to the US

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