COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - President Barack Obama has delivered his speech on tourism at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Obama began a 15-minute speech by saying he was honoured to be the first sitting president to visit the baseball shrine, which provided a fitting backdrop. Since it opened in 1939, the Hall of Fame has had more than 160 million visitors.

Obama said "The good news is we have a great product. People want to come here," adding, "We're trying to make it easier."

Police blocked off Main Street and kept spectators away from the entrance to the Hall of Fame, which was closed for the day for security reasons.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was late arriving and watched the speech from backstage before praising the president's efforts.