US President Barack Obama has challenged the US travel industry to make the country the world’s top tourism destination.

In a recorded statement, the President told the Pow Wow conference in Los Angeles that he would do his part to ensure “the world knows we are open for business”.

President Obama was instrumental in the creation of the public-private tourism promotion body Brand USA when he signed the Travel Promotion Act.

And he told Pow Wow delegates that he wanted the tourism industry to do its part to boost the US economy.

He said: “I want more of these tourists to come and visit. I want America to be the top tourism destination in the world.”

Brand USA chairman Stephen Cloobeck said the launch of the organisation’s first overseas advertising campaign on May 1 was a key milestone in the industry’s response.

He added: “We will be competitive. We will take back our market share.”