Obama, in Florida, unveils plans to boost tourism

President Barack Obama exchanges a high five with three-year-old Sam Kruger of Orlando upon his arrival at the Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — President Barack Obama says he wants to make America the top travel destination in the world, picking Walt Disney World to promote his plans to boost tourism ahead of the GOP presidential primary in this crucial battleground state.

Standing in front of Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle on a picture-perfect day, Obama laid out plans to speed visa processing and make it easier for people in fast-growing China, Brazil and elsewhere to travel to the U.S. He called for a new national strategy to promote travel throughout the U.S., which he said would boost U.S. jobs.

Said the president: “America is open for business.”

The president’s trip Thursday came ahead of the Jan. 31 presidential primary in Florida, a state Obama won in 2008 but that both parties are contesting this year.