NYC Ghetto Tours Stopped Due to Public Backlash

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Earlier this month, the New York Post published a story on a New York City tour company called Real Bronx Tours. One of the tours offered by the company took tourists on a trip through the poorer areas of the city, showing them housing projects, food banks, and dangerous parks. The so-called ghetto tours have now provoked a backlash from Bronx residents.

Once word of the tour reached Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., he and New York City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito sent the tour company a letter, stating that they are “sickened” by the borough’s “despicable” portrayal in the tours. The letter urged Real Bronx Tours to modify the way the tour is marketed and presented. From the letter:

We are more than happy to welcome tours to our community that celebrate the rich culture and history of our neighborhoods, treat Bronx residents with dignity and encourage visits to our wonderful landmarks and beautiful parks. However, using the Bronx to sell a so-called “ghetto” experience to tourists is completely unacceptable and the highest insult to the communities we represent.

Now, Real Bronx Tours has caved to public pressure, and will no longer offer the ghetto tours. The company’s website has now disappeared, though the company has not issued a statement.

“I am happy to hear that Real Bronx Tours has decided to end its inaccurate and disrespectful tours of our beautiful borough,” said Diaz. “The Bronx has come a long way in the past few years, and we will not accept such a despicable and irresponsible depiction of our borough.”

(Image courtesy Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons)

NYC Ghetto Tours Stopped Due to Public Backlash
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  • Trish

    I think the tour company and all those morons who signed up for the tours should get their tour. ON FOOT through the most dangerous area and police are not allowed to respond to any calls from the tour leaders or those who wanted to “see the ghetto”.

    • Guffaw

      And what exactly would that prove? Did you stop to think that some good could come out of this. Isn’t it possible that it might inspire someone into doing something to assist the people in those communities improve their situation, or at a minimum garner some empathy for the plight of the poor. There are known dangerous areas as you noted…you would like to see people put in harms way? This makes you better than the lousy marketing of the tour operator? The company must have been doing something right to stay in business, which hmm, brings in tax revenue which is used for social programs.

      What you wrote is extremely arrogant and ignorant and I only hope that you and Lorie below think things through a little better before you write something like you did again.

    • http://yahoo.com Brian

      Why, so they the truth will come out about how violent and uncivilized some people are in this area? You are openly admitting to what they describe in thr tours you moron, therefore there should be no problem with these tours! STUPID! Your name says it all. I can only image what you look like with that name! ha!

      • Guffaw

        Ah, personal attacks. Do you have a point, or just on a tear. The ‘guffaw’ was to the 1st comment of Diaz being the one to make a comment about accuracy.

        But tell me, have you ever been to the Bronx and know of what you speak. I have and do and there are areas that as you so eloquently put it are violent and uncivilized. That being said, there are a lot of good people stuck in a bad situation. It’s just a fact, so how does that make me a moron. What type of fantasy world are you living in?

        But rather than outright demonizing the business for, possibly, an ignorant marketing gimmick, why not work with them to change the message and ENCOURAGE in a positive way the better things in the community to apply at least some focus on. It this economic climate, especially in this politically corrupt and morally/ethically challenged state, it makes no sense to drive out business just because you don’t like their message. It seems typical that there is the indignant outcry and finger pointing at anyone/thing but themselves. If there wasn’t a problem, this tour component of this business wouldn’t exist. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in the tour, however, from an anthropological standpoint this is one (currently) inextricable component of our society and culture.

        Thus, I’m not too sure where your smugness comes from, but I do hope you consider commenting with valid, defensible points in the future, rather than emotional diatribes and personal attacks.

      • Guffaw

        My mistake…I thought that you had replied to me.

  • Guffaw

    “I am happy to hear that Real Bronx Tours has decided to end its inaccurate and disrespectful tours of our beautiful borough,” said Diaz.”


    Hah, this coming from Diaz. That’s rich.

  • Lorie

    Trish, I totally agree with you and would pay money to see them take that tour…lol. I swear I was thinking the same thing…smh

    • http://yahoo.com Brian

      Along with Trish, you are another MORON!

  • Belinda

    Why does the anchor even look like this is a joke or that he finds this story funny??? I wanted to wipe the smirk off his face–and I’m not even from NY! But I’ve seen “ghetto” before and the idea of that tour is what’s REALLY “ghetto”!

  • Smooth

    G-G-G Get out the car! Your gangser right? haha

  • progshred

    If you don’t want people calling your city a ghetto, clean it up.

  • ThisisDumb

    Its pretty obvious why this got cancelled, “ghetto” is an offensive term, depending on where you stand in the room. Its different when you are gawking at poor people than at rich people. A tour like this may come back, its not necessarily irrelevant, maybe choice of wording and the presentation can change. People definitely seek some “real” aspect to a city beyond the lights, when they are well traveled. I think if the tour is honest and gives the perspective of the people living in these areas then it works. The whole outside looking in thing was bound to fail. Hire some locals, let them tell it as it is – yes there is crime, poverty and the “real” stuff no one wants to discuss. Its a good idea, poor execution, get buy-in from the those that will criticize before looking at the big picture.

  • S. S.

    Bronx needs to clean itself up of nasty, disease breeding litter, debris along streets, sidewalks.
    NYC’s #1 “America’s Dirtiest City” (TRAVEL+LEISURE).

  • Aunt Jemima

    No different than taking a bus through the Bronx Zoo, people just want to see the animals in their natural habitat.

    • blah

      so i guess if i go to the Bronx zoo I’ll see ur monkey ass there aunt Jemima!!! ppl like you are disgusting the way you think!!!!

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