Monday, August 25, 2008
After spending most of the last week in New Orleans, I'm happy to be back at home, especially as Fay was starting to shower the city.
Don't get me wrong, being in New Orleans was exhilarating, including my opportunity to join with over 210 other volunteers in the ongoing clean-up of a pocket of the Big Easy. While the city still has a long way to go before it's completely recovered, it is as vibrant as ever, and most certainly open for business.
This got me to thinking about the double-edged sword of the news media and the inevitable coverage you can expect this week on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Most of the national news coverage I've ever seen paints a truly negative, nearly hopeless picture. And while I believe it's crucial for the American public to understand that so much remains to be accomplished, the media coverage has undoubtedly also made many potential visitors rethink their trips because they have the mistaken impression that the city is in no condition to welcome them.
Tourism is the blood that keeps New Orleans pulsing. So without the visitors -- despite the astounding strides they've already achieved in rebuilding and repairing -- the city remains in guarded condition.
If you've ever thought about visiting New Orleans, the time is now. And every dollar you spend there helps contribute to the local economy at a time when it's most needed.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).