How French Quarter crime is impacting New Orleans tourism

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — David Rubenstein, owner of Rubenstein’s men’s clothing on Canal Street, says the recent chaos in the French Quarter is taking a toll on local businesses, including his own.

“When people are planning trips, this is what they came to see, downtown, the French Quarter, and if they have crime in there, they’re going to look at other trips,” said Rubenstein.

In just the last two weeks, at least ten people have been shot on Bourbon Street. Rubenstein’s business has been on the edge of the Quarter for nearly 100 years, and he says he’s never seen crime like this.

“I think probably right now it’s the worst it’s ever been,” said Rubenstein.

Some state leaders agree.

“Failure is not an option. It’s the worst it’s ever been and if we don’t change it quickly, we won’t recover from the shut down from tourism, and we won’t see the French Quarter make it,” said Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

So what’s being done to clean up the Quarter? Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says it’s all about collaboration.

“First thing we got to do is work with the mayor, which we are doing, to get more police on the streets in a recruiting effort. Secondly, we’re working to put more crime cameras in every street light in the Quarter,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser.

Business owners are also doing their part, working with the mayor’s office and NOPD to address the Quarter’s issues.

“It’s going to take a process and it’s going to take a while. But now, the business people are saying we’re leaders, we need to bring this to the mayor’s attention, and they’ve been very cooperative at the meeting,” said Rubenstein.

“The rest of the state understands, so goes New Orleans tourism, it does affect the rest of the state, so we need all hands on deck to support our efforts and make that happen,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser.

New Orleans & Co., a city agency for marketing and tourism, released a statement on the recent violence that reads:

“It is concerning when there are any acts of violence in our community where we live and work. From a tourism standpoint, our customers and potential visitors see New Orleans in the national headlines. Negative headlines can influence travel decisions and directly impact our economy, small business owners and culture bearers. We have confidence in the New Orleans Police Department and their mission to make our city a safer place for residents and visitors.”

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