President Obama promotes tourism industry during visit to Nat'l Baseball Hall of Fame

Nick Knupffer/via Flickr
May 23, 2014

President Obama visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Thursday. He was there to tout the benefits of tourism and says Cooperstown’s economic livelihood is one that can’t be outsourced.

President Obama flew into Cooperstown and became the first president to ever tour the hall. He donated the White Sox jacket he wore in 2009 at the All-Star game.

Speaking to a small crowd of museum staff and tourism officials, he says tourism is becoming one of America’s greatest exports.

“Because tourism translates into jobs and it translates into economic growth.”

Attendance at the hall has suffered in the past decade. But hall officials say they saw a 64 percent jump in ticket sales last month over the year before, thanks to its 75th anniversary this summer.

Obama says visitors to hall bolster jobs throughout the community.

“Folks who work at restaurant, and hotels, that serve fans in Cooperstown have the kinds of jobs that can’t be offshored.”

Obama says he wants major airports to make it easier for foreign visitors to get through customs. He’s set a goal of increasing the number of foreign visitors to America to 100 million by the beginning of the next decade. That’s a 30 million jump from where it is now.