To start the new year, sightseeing bus company Gray Line is offering what its calling a new blockbuster tour–Hurricane Katrina: America’s Worst Catastrophe. Some may see it as a gross act of opportunism, but historically, tourists have been fascinated by disaster sites like Pearl Harbor and Ground Zero. And with its focus on infrastructure failures and prospective resolution, the tour could be particularly interesting to members of the commercial real estate profession.
The new tour was created in an attempt to inform visitors from around the world as to the factors contributing to this cataclysmic event. Participants will learn how oil and gas pipelines, manmade levee protection, and America’s disappearing coastline combined to create this massive hurricane destruction.
The tour has been written by locals, one of whom stayed in New Orleans (next to the Superdome) throughout the storm. The tour will emphasize New Orleans’ importance to the U.S. and global economies through its oil and gas production, traffic through the second largest port in the country, and its seafood harvest. Participants will see and believe not only the devastation, but also the rebirth and rebuilding needed to save what has been called America ‘s Most Interesting City!
“Since so many of our employees, including myself, lost our home and possessions, this tour will be operated with the utmost sensitivity to the thousands of local residents still trying to get their lives back in order.” Gray Line New Orleans Vice-President Greg Hoffman explains.
Additional details regarding the tour:
• Learn the history of the original city, the French Quarter, and why it was built at this particular location along the Mississippi River.
• Drive past an actual levee that “breached” and see the resulting devastation that displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents.
• Find out about the volume and variety of products “offloaded” in the multimodal port of New Orleans , the second largest port in the country, and then distributed across the country. For instance, few people are aware that 30% of the seafood (fish, crabs, shrimp, oysters, and crawfish) harvested in the lower 48 states comes from the coastal wetlands in South Louisiana?
Tour Length: 3 hours
Cost: Adult: $35.00 ($3.00 will be donated to a non-profit organization of participant’s choice (1 of 5) that has been directly affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
P.S.–Apparently the tour has sold out fast in its first few days.