Is tourism affected by New Orleans crime?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Monday, July 17th

Dave Cohen in for Tommy.  Dave talks with Lauren Cason, Director of Marketing and Communications with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, about New Orleans coming in as the 4th best US city to visit.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'm in the Crescent City has been making big headlines here at home and some nationally and internationally. The big question though is. Beyond the impacts locally the lives lost the individuals injured. And the fear that it. Is it hurting tourism I've heard many individuals say we've got to get a handle on this crime problem. Because it's going to hurt tourism which is the bread and butter. Of our local economy. But last year was a record year for tourism in New Orleans. And it is at a crime problem for the better part of three. Hundred years now let's talk about this. We invited a Lauren case on director of marketing and communications for the New Orleans convention and visitors bureau to join us this morning Lauren. Are right I am doing well thank you it's Monday but we're getting through it together. Like I say we just need to grab hands link arms and together we can stretch through Monday. And successfully make it to Tuesday. There's no doubt crime as a problem in our city and has been for a long long time in ebbs and flows sometimes it's worse than others sometimes it gets more headlines than others. And when you have tourists severely. Beaten by armed robbers and caught on video things like that tend to go viral. How big a concern is that in terms of the larger picture of the the tourism industry. In New York. Well we are very lucky that we have one of the most unique cities and the world that people continue to travel Q and you know making it and an email that Tunisia and you know. We need. Her. We're able to head title leisure and animate comment on cattle trade publications just announce a lot and be continue to be on the top and less like that we Wear. Aimed to one of the top five cities in the country for the fourth consecutive year in aero which. Congratulations dominant number four that is fantastic add that there are tying for destinations anywhere to travel. Absolutely and Szczerbiak had as cities like to new York and Chicago pot and then nationally continue to hear it I think believes. We have a Brandon and then an exciting offerings add on that people continue to travel here Larry you know and also on the island as. Number. Though members have we haven't had talent calorie which. Really you can give that this development in the central business district and a variety of offerings that we have for visitors you know. But continue to reinvent ourselves and people continue to come for our our culture and Christine. And and girls value that the city provides now. We're we are very lucky that we have so much to offer and attendance award at the top women can do it and don't let visitors blog about that in. Anywhere in the article or in the listener commentary amiss at the reader commentary and travel and leisure. Was there any mention of the crime in nuance. That's an airplane content that the lord would paint on and he letting them. A visitor themselves and you know OJ visit that they voted on and you know aren't right them landmark our culture our current scene are friendly and are happening and and the overall value that we provide. Now you know from every indication as fact that this is not a deterrent and and their treatment and then not only not continue and impact do you vote at some of the top five in the country I think it speaks volumes. Yeah and last year more tourists came into loans than ever before spending more money right. Yet exactly we have continued to re re break records spending. And eat them broke our pre Katrina visitor numbers you believe we've president spending numbers that he cares to count I think Jerry practices that are numbered no. But that's another bout we're attacking their commitment that are that are paying a little longer spending our money. Putting more money back into our local economy with the extra revenue lane and creating jobs. And in the local person and. While we did see where Katrina was a deterrent to terrorism for obvious reasons and all the damage the city suffered. In that storm nearly twelve years ago the recession hurt terrorism clearly because well people have less money to spend the oil spill probably dead. But all those things. EU and others whose job it is to promote New Orleans. Have been successful on overcoming those things because again we're back to pre Katrina numbers of visitors. And have been for several years now back to pre Katrina levels of spending and setting new records it seems every year. We have been very successful and I think. It's speak agriculture and the people who make up and Betty and you know he we hear over and over again that. You know there's no place like no violent and it's a feeling and you know just. The culture to trust people and that you know that's its appetite and every single person and that any and that and the feeling that the aliens when they fail here let me see. They travel here panel I think it's really are very accurately and completely unique. There's no doubt though that high profile crimes like the ones we've seen recently clearly when they do go viral on social media that you include video and there are so scary in nature. They can't help and it probably does keep some people. From traveling to New Orleans but by and large obviously it's not a major. They can get any of their top dirty for visitors and locals like all major cities then you know we continue to work with the mayor's office and an MPD can't picture at reliant. His base and Albany perhaps even better on the. Yeah no doubt and I'm not trying to soft pedal the fact that crime is a real serious and in major issue. For New Orleans for locals and visitors alike. But my concern was with these claims that. These crimes are going to kill the tourism industry and that they're going to prevent people from coming to visit here. It seems we have a whole lot more goods and we do bad when it comes to promoting the city and obviously reducing crime would be helpful. For locals and for visitors but it has not been the major deterrent that some feared it would be. Take continued and then beyond me plant as thick as a great. Great opportunity for rat then and we continue. You know I think they haven't been tightened and on accurate and purple pill continue to be a top leader and all these cattle and then and continue to bring people that the -- to experience all the wonderful things that we have to. Well congratulations to you Lauren and everybody else over at the convention and visitor's bureau for another top five ranking in travel and leisure world. Bests award is the world's best not just America's best but top five in the world. That lack. They let me that I bet it's the top and the world the world patent award an award that we run at number four in the US. The US docket no number four in the US. Still a huge accomplishment and congratulations. And two doesn't seventeen shaping up well and looking ahead to the Droid present time in 2018. But to get stuff on the horizon. Yet after very exciting. They decide for having me thank you so much.