Luxury hotel and travel company Marriott International (MAR - Get Report) reported its 2016 fourth quarter results after the bell on Wednesday. The company posted adjusted earnings of 85 cents, in line with expectations. Revenue came in at $5.46 billion vs. the $5.04 billion analysts had forecast.
Company CEO Arne Sorenson appeared on Thursday morning's "Squawk Alley" on CNBC to discuss the market over the last two months, as well as President Trump's travel ban and its impact on travel companies.
"The markets have responded with tremendous optimism in the last couple of months. It expects a higher GDP growth rate in 2017 than we experienced in 2016. We're starting to pick up a few anecdotes that maybe support that, but they're anecdotes. When you look at the broad data we would say that we don't really see the stronger GDP showing up, at least not yet," Sorenson said.
One week into Donald Trump's presidency he announced a strict ban on refugees entering the U.S. from certain Muslim majority countries. A week later a judge blocked the order, and the ruling was held up in an appeals court.
CNBC anchor Susan Li asked CEO Sorenson for his thoughts on the controversial policy, which Trump has unapologetically defended.
"Well there are some parts of it which are not surprising," he responded. "It's clear from President Trump's election that there are concerns in the United States about security and about immigration policy. And it is certainly appropriate that President Trump would try and address those things. I'm not sure this executive order was the best way to go about doing that."
The CEO continued by explaining that with the executive order being described as a travel ban and a ban against Muslims entering the country, it gives the rest of the world the view that some people aren't welcome in the U.S.
Getting back to the company's business Sorenson discussed growth, noting that in 2017 they want to open a hotel every 16 hours. Those locations are said to be "in the bag" and "under construction." The company also has a "big portfolio" of hotels slated to open in 2018 as well.