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)