Tourists should give the Bronx a chance

August 14, 2012 8:15:02 PM PDT
Tourism hit an all time record in New York City with 51 million visitors last year, but only a fraction of them headed to the Bronx.

Now the borough is trying to shed its hard knocks image and is pushing tourism to a whole new level.

Bronxites are tired of tourists missing out on the many gems the borough has to offer because they feel it's just not safe when in reality; police statistics show crime is drastically down.

"I think the Bronx, especially Riverdale is under appreciated," said Inga Sazan, a Bronx resident, "We have beautiful Van Cortlandt Park which is wonderful for a stroll with the kids BBQ the pool."

Of the record 51 million visitors who came to the big apple last year, only 10% ventured to the Bronx according to the city's Tourism Bureau.

Olga Luz Tirado, director of the Bronx Tourism Council, explains most visited the big three: Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, and the Botanical Garden.

"The Bronx through the years had a bad reputation and it's really hard for people to get past that," Tirade said.

What they didn't see are the 7,000 acres of public green space including the picturesque Wave Hill Garden in Riverdale, more than 40 museums like the historic Van Cordtlandt House, theaters, galleries, the borough's taste of Italy: Arthur Avenue.

"We're doing an enormous amount of work in disseminating information and letting people know that there are a lot of places to visit in the Bronx," Tirade said, "A lot of people have the wrong impression of the Bronx, and that's a shame. If they become just a little bit more open minded they'll find the Bronx has so many hidden treasures."

One thing the city's Economic Board is working on is the lack of full service hotels to draw tourists there.

If you want to learn more about places to visit and free events go to

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