After national media attention calling Baltimore the country’s most dangerous city, those who rely on tourism are working to the change the perception of the city.
Police say violent crime is down so far this year, but that’s coming off last year’s record high murder rate.
The Baltimore Tourism Association wants to make sure visitors feel safe and welcome so Thursday morning, they met with members of the police department and Mayor’s Office. The goal was to learn about initiatives going on to decrease crime so that when businesses get calls from potential visitors, they can put them at ease and better field questions about safety.
“I think sometimes there can be a tendency to focus on some of the negative stories, which is not to say that we want to gloss over those issues. We certainly want to face those challenges head-on but we also want people to know that there are a lot of great things happening in Baltimore and there are a lot of good reasons to visit,” Association member and business owner Chris Riehl said.
The most recent tourism report shows 2016 had a record high number of visitors at 25.9 million. The 2017 numbers won’t be out until July.