Growth of Airbnb in New Orleans sparks debate over the soul of the city
NEW ORLEANS — For years, tourists in New Orleans mostly stayed in the French Quarter. They did their drinking there, gawked at raunchy shows on Bourbon Street and gorged themselves at exquisite restaurants.
But that’s changing, partly thanks to a mushrooming of short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb. Now tourists — some of whom come to party — are found in neighborhoods around the city, and locals are divided about whether that’s a good thing.
Some say the rentals help residents — including artists and young entrepreneurs — bolster income in a city where many still struggle 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Others say the spread of tourism to residential areas hurts the quality of life. Read more…