Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson told CNBC on Tuesday he expects the hotel giant to reach 1 million rooms in 2015, but antiterrorism measures could be a headwind for the travel industry.
"We had a spectacular 2014," Sorenson said in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box" from Davos, Switzerland. "We had 100,000 rooms join our system. We've never done anything like 100,000 rooms. You add that to the other rooms that were signed in prior years that are not yet open, and we expect by midyear to have 1 million rooms."
Sorenson added the company's rapid expansion is due to the U.S. economic recovery and to a growing number of travelers around the globe. "There are a billion trips taken a year," he said. "And that's growing by about 10 percent every year. You look at the growing middle classes in China, India and South America, and that's driving demand for hotels."
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The World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week also presents a great opportunity for the hotel giant, Sorenson said. "There are people from all over the world," he said. "You've got a lot of customers, hotel owners, heads of state and other government officials where travel policies are important, so there's a lot that can be accomplished."
Nevertheless, Sorenson said he is concerned about the rising tensions following the terrorist attack in Paris. "Because of the events in Paris, we're in a time where folks are talking about strengthening borders, and limiting the movement of people [and] goods," he said. "We have got to protect our security, but we've got to make sure the economic activity and the freedom to move is preserved."