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Marriott CEO: The U.S. is losing its share of international visitors

Marriott International (MAR) CEO Arne Sorenson says the U.S. is losing it share of international visitors as travel continues to boom.

Speaking with Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the hotel executive estimated that 1.3 billion international trips were made in 2017.

“That means a trip where somebody crosses a national border,” Sorenson said. “We think that was up about 7% from 2016. U.S. numbers appear to be down about 4%, 4% to 5%. So it shows you that we are losing share. European market had about a plus 7% total inbound growth.”

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson speaks with Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

One of the reasons has to do with the friendliness of the arrival of the market, he explained.

“It’s sort of the sense of invitation, are we really communicating an invitation to the rest of the world that we’d like you to come to the United States? And of course, through Brand USA and through other tools, we are trying to make sure we communicate that,” he said.

This echoes comments from Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in October, where Sorenson said the rest of the world was hearing a “You’re really not welcome here” message from the U.S. and the Trump administration.

He added that we need to recognize that people are concerned about security.

“Let’s work with government authorities, with technology and see if we can enhance security so that people can feel better about extending that enthusiastic welcome to the rest of the world. Because even though business is good, it could be even better.”

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.