New Orleans recent surge in violence makes headlines nationwide

New Orleans violence center of N.O. attention

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The recent violence in New Orleans sends a strong message to visitors and to people around the world. Hotel worker Sue Jones handles baggage, but hates when New Orleans carries it.

"It's so terrible. It's our city!" Jones said. "People like to to come and enjoy themselves and when they come, you think of violence, you think of crime and things, but the big easy is one you can enjoy. We like having everyone here."

Many tourists and conventioneers walk around the city letting the good times roll. But Francois Charbonneau of Montreal and his family couldn't ignore the headlines.

"I'm talking about three people injured in a shooting on interstate. That's kind of crazy," he said pointing at a newspaper box where the Times Picayune headline jumped out at him.

Darrin Powell from North Carolina is out of the loop, but folks in his hometown of Pittsboro can read all about it in the Chatham News Observer. The Claiborne mass shooting is plastered on CNN, The Guardian in the U.K. and even the Jakarta Post.

"When the guests hear that that's the first thing they say is what's going on here in the city!" Sue Jones said.

"We've monitored the media on New Orleans every single day after last Saturday and we've seen an uptick on national news like MSNBC and CNN. When we see a national exposure that's a fire that's lit,"said Kristian Sonnier with New Orleans & Company. Right now, it's not a tourism story. It's a city-wide safety story. If we can achieve safety for people who live in this city  then we've solved the tourism safety issue," he said.

But the headlines just keep coming, like the early morning fatal shooting in the French Quarter.

Sue Jones says the hotel guests she deals with want to know the safe places to go.

"We say don't go in a dark alley and things like that. There is crime everywhere."

In the meantime, Darrin Powell is going to enjoy his last couple of days in New Orleans.

"We were down on Canal Street the other day. A little history, a little different from anywhere else," he said.

Sonnier vows to keep promoting the virtues of the city as a great place to visit and a great place to live.

Sonnier says no conventions have canceled because of the recent violence. He says it's been a strong Summer when it comes to tourism.

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