While crime in the city of New Orleans remains a focal point for locals, apparently to city officials, it can be somewhat of an asset, with one official alluding to that it’s a “gritty” part of the city that gives it an edge.
In a New Orleans Advocate report, which debated whether or not crime is hurting city tourism, head of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau Stephen Perry, brushed off the city’s major problem with crime, saying “it’s not a theme park.”
“The one thing about New Orleans is that it’s not perfect,” Perry said. “It’s not a theme park. One of the great draws here is that this is one of the last real, authentic, gritty places to go, and I think the fact that it is so authentic and real means that it has something.”
The assertion that crime is merely an issue that all cities deal with has been the narrative of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration for some time now, as reported by the Hayride.
Landrieu said almost a year ago that tourists were just as safe in New Orleans as just about anybody else.
“Is your city safe?” Landrieu said. “It depends. If you are a tourist coming into town … and you’re coming to my city and you want to come enjoy it, you’re as safe in my city as any place in the world.”
That sentiment was echoed in the New Orleans Advocate piece, where president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, downplayed the crime issue as well.
“Crime is very often a local story,” Dow said. “I haven’t heard one person — not one person — say, ‘Why are you going to New Orleans? We hear there’s a lot of crime.”