Is the US the world’s best tourism hot spot?

In a recent speech at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; President Barack Obama went to bat for the U.S. tourism industry. It was the first time a president ever visited the museum, according to The Washington Post, and he cited the important fact that America welcomed in 70 million international visitors in 2013. This number accounts for the populations of Texas, Florida and New York combined.

Is it safe to say that the U.S. is the world leader in the travel and tourism? The data seems to indicate that this is so. Obama also noted that the growth of the tourism industry in the U.S. has accounted for around 8 million jobs and feeds a thriving $1.5 trillion sector in the American economy. Americans know how to show travelers a good time.

Cities take note of the impact of tourism
The president highlighted success in his hometown of Chicago and in Dallas, noting that the wait times for customs and passport control in O’Hare International Airport have fallen to just 15 minutes, an accomplishment considering these are two of the busiest airports in America. These success stories are something that should be replicated across the country as U.S.-based tourism continues to grow, he explained.

“When it comes to tourism, the good news is we’ve got a great product to sell.  People want to come here.” Obama said in his speech.

In addition to his speech in Cooperstown, Obama welcomed in industry CEOs from travel and tourism companies and took several executive actions to give this industry more focus in the coming years.

The most visited tourist attractions in the U.S.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, now is the time to feel some national pride and brush up on the most popular travel sites in the U.S. According to Travel Leisure Magazine, the top 10 include:

10. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
9. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
8. The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
7. Disneyland, Anaheim
6. Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Buena Vista
5. Grand Central Terminal, New York City
4. Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas
3. Union Station, Washington, D.C.
2. Central Park, New York City
1. Times Square, New York City