COOPERSTOWN – President Barack Obama visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown on Thursday and became the first sitting president to do so. His appearance was part of a campaign to promote tourism and travel. The hope is to positively impact the economy and develop more jobs for Americans.
According to the museum, it has approximately 300,000 people who visit annually, which results in about $160 million in revenue to Otsego County each year. In his speech, which addressed an invitation only crowd, Obama described the museum as “a powerful economic engine.”
“Today I'm here in Cooperstown to ... get more folks to visit the national treasures,” he said. “When it comes to tourism ... we have a great product.”
“Too many Americans are still working harder than ever and can't seem to get ahead,” said Obama and explained that he is actively working towards promoting tourism and making it easier for international visitors to visit the states in order to strengthen the tourism industry.
Earlier that day, Obama met with CEOs and other important leaders in the travel and tourism industry, and signed a Presidential Memorandum in order to make the entry process easier for visitors, which (if put into motion) would speed up customs processing at 15 of the largest airports in the U.S.