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  1. GuideWeek 2021: Thank You!

    Thank you to all (from around the globe!) who signed up for GuideWeek 2021, the first virtual event designed to meet the needs of and empower local tour guides. We hope that you enjoyed the two days of great educational events and webinars (recordings will be up on the main GuideWeek page soon!), and are enjoying the great, live virtual tours being offered during this week. We also thank our sponsors, and all those who gave their time to help make this event happen. After the virtual tours, our final day will be Friday, which is Recruitment Day.

    You can find the GuideWeek main page: HERE (you will need to be logged in to your account to view it).

    One of the sessions we did was "Coffee Talk with GANYC". Unlike all the great industry-focused panels, this was focused on our own organization, and helping better explain to the global guiding community what GANYC is and what we do. Board members and leaders on various committees provided info on the work does primarily for our 300+ members, but also the advocacy we do for the crucial NYC tourism industry. You can watch that segment here:
     

  2. NYC News + Updates

  3. Historic Districts Council Teams Up With a Guiding Spirit

    The Historic Districts Council has partnered with one of GANYC's Guiding Spirits, Joe Svehlak for a series of video tours focusing on historic neighborhoods. The first 3 videos on their YouTube channel feature Joe showcasing the East 25th Historic District in Brooklyn, East Flatbush, and Sunset Park. In addition to decades of tour work, Joe has been instrumental in working with neighborhood groups to get lesser-known historical areas of Brooklyn landmarked by the city.

     

     

  4. The Summer of New York City

    Today, Mayor de Blasio announced his intention to have the city fully reopen on July 1st, promising "This is going to be the summer of New York City." This means full capacity returned to restaurants, theaters, arenas, museums, and all businesses.

    Broadway had previously set its own target date for shows to fully resume starting in September, which can now be met.

    NY Governor Cuomo gave a statement that was, more or less, in support of this target date for reopenings. Left fully up to the Governor, of course, are other decisions, like the much-needed restoration of 24-hour subway service, and the question of what targets will allow the state to lift its mask mandate. Of course, regardless, individual businesses or venues will still be able to make their own decisions (on masks, capacity, whether to ask for vaccination status/tests, etc).

    We urge all those who have yet to receive a COVID vaccine to do so as soon as possible, to ensure that we continue to push towards herd immunity this Summer. You can protect yourself, and help protect your community! City and state vaccine sites, as well as many pharmacies, are now taking walk-ins... the time of hard-to-get appointments and low supply is over! And a reminder that the vaccine is free, and safe. You can call 877-VAX-4NYC to find the site nearest you.

    And we have heard reports that many of our members have started getting freelance tour work again, if a bit sporadically for now, and we could not be more happy. This positive trend will only grow, as NYC moves closer to a fuller reopening this Summer. "We're all going to get to enjoy this city again, and people are going to flock here from all over the country to be a part of this amazing moment for NYC," the Mayor also stated today. We urge all those traveling to NYC (or locals looking to better explore their own backyard) to do so with those who know New York best... professional tour guides.

    You can find over 100 unique NYC tours on https://touryourowncity.com/ or peruse our roster of talented tour guides at https://www.ganyc.org/find-guide .

    Be well New York, and we look forward to seeing you out on tour very soon!

    [UPDATE: Gov. Cuomo has now announced that most capacity limits will be removed sooner-- May 19.]

  5. GuideWeek 2021, Presented by GANYC!

    Registration is now open for GuideWeek 2021!

    https://travelcampfire.com/guideweek/

    The event, which will take place May 10-14, is the first virtual event specifically designed to meet the needs of local tour guides. The 3 days of virtual education, recruitment, and networking will focus on empowering local guides around the world. As we all emerge from the tour hiatus forced by COVID-19, GuideWeek 2021 is designed as an aspirational event, one to get you excited about touring again, and to provide you with the tools you need to succeed as a tour guide in a post-COVID world.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF GUIDEWEEK 2021:

    • 10+ educational sessions featuring 45+ notable speakers from around the world of tourism     
    • Keynote address by Evita Turquoise Robinson, founder of the Nomadness Travel Tribe and one of the most influential and inspiring women in travel today
    • An opportunity to attend virtual tours from around the world*
    • A full day of virtual networking with recruiters from local and national tour operators, reservation technology companies, and OTAs, among others
    • Networking and socializing opportunities via the Campfire Travel platform, developed by TripSchool co-founder (and GANYC member/industry partner) Mitch Bach.  

    The educational sessions will be recorded, so even if you cannot attend live, you will have access to watch these great sessions at your convenience.* The full list of sessions is listed on guideweek.org.
    *Please note that the virtual tours will not be recorded and must be viewed in real time. 

    Registration costs are as follows: $20 for GANYC Members and Industry Partners; $30 for tour guides who are members of their local guide associations; and $40 for everyone else, including unaffiliated tour guides and members of the public. All registrations are final.

  6. Tour Your Own City this Spring & Summer!

    We are very excited to see that the vaccination numbers in New York-- and across the US in general-- continue to rise each day. Congratulations to all who did not throw away their shot! The CDC has also recently released encouranging guidance on travel for those who are vaccinated. GANYC is proud of the work we have been doing in the past 13 months to help promote a safe return for the travel + tourism industry.

    Are you planning a visit to New York? Or do live in the New York area already, and want to get out and explore? We encourage you to visit the Tour Your Own City website. With over 100 unique tours available, there's an amazing local experience waiting just for you. From art to architecture to food to history, and much more! In addition to our main menu, you can also use our Search bar to customize your search by whatever you need... borough, tour type, day of week, language, and interests.

    See the video below for a look at how to navigate this site:


     


    You can also peruse GANYC's Find A Guide page to look at our membership and find a great guide for your trip. The best professional guides in NYC look forward to helping re-discover this amazing city.

  7. GANYC Discusses Loosening of Travel Restrictions on News12

    GANYC Public Relations Chair Jeremy Wilcox was on News12 last night for a segment discussing the end of restrictions for domestic travelers visiting New York, and why safety can't be sacrificed to reopen things just a bit sooner.

    Members of the Guides Association of NYC are ready and waiting to welcome tourists back to New York. But "safety first" has been our motto throughout this pandemic, and that has not changed. Cases are rising again, and we all want the U.S. to avoid the fate of many European nations, whose sharp rises have forced new rounds of lockdowns. We urge travelers to postpone travel until all 16+ members of their family/group have been fully vaccinated, to keep getting tested until then, and to continue to avoid any activities (such as indoor dining, etc) where masks aren't worn until then as well. GANYC understands pandemic fatigue is rising sharply as well, but we must all continue to do our part to prevent more suffering.

    GANYC urges both travelers and guides to read the Health and Safety Guidelines on our site for our recommended best practices for touring during this time.

    And for fully vaccinated locals or travelers who are looking to tour New York City this Spring and Summer, please visit https://touryourowncity.com/ to peruse 100+ unique tours designed to help people fall back in love with this city.

    So please stay safe, get vaccinated as soon as possible (local pharmacies seem to the best source for appointments right now), and we hope to see you all soon! We are all in this together.

  8. GANYC Members In The News Again!

    Two GANYC members featured in the news this past week...

    First, member Kevin Fitzpatrick was featured in this news story about his Woodlawn Cemetery tours.  NYC’s professional guides are still crafting unique ways to explore NYC and its history & culture.
    News12: Woodlawn Cemetery tour celebrates history of Irish people who helped shape NYC's history

    Second, GANYC Board member Jeremy Wilcox is quoted in this article with his feelings how it's safe to ride the subway during this time.  Mask up, then swipe and ride on!
    AM New York: New Yorkers react to subway boom

  9. Destination Capitol Hill Goes Virtual

    Destination Capitol Hill is the US travel industry's main lobbying event, which every year would bring travel professionals from across the US to Washington DC. Due to COVID, the event went virtual this year. Working with the US Travel Association and tourism professionals from across the country, GANYC members Patrick Casey Harvey Davidson, Kitt Garrett, Kevin Lawrence, and John Semlak have been meeting today with Senators and Representatives to advocate for government support of the travel and tourism industry. We thank the members who volunteered to represent us.

    Below is a screenshot of one meeting in session.

    We are thankful to congressional leadership over the past year for aid provided to out-of-work guides, and to new wins, like the expanded PPP legislation which cleared the House last night. Over the next several months, the tourism industry will continue to need the support of those in Washington, as this crucial industry begins its recovery.

  10. Musings and News As NYC Moves Toward Reopening

    As more and more Governors across the US give up on any attempts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Guides Association of NYC is saddened to read that Governor Cuomo is giving up on the travel quarantine requirements intended to keep everyone safe as we work toward the end of this pandemic. Of course, this policy was rarely enforced to begin with. We urge the state to maintain its mask mandate and other measures until the country reaches mass vaccination over the next few months. And we urge all Americans to get vaccinated at the earliest available opportunity.

    We understand and sympathize that, a year into this crisis, everyone is tired and restless and ready to move on. But while the end may be in sight, we are not there yet. While case numbers are dropping, tens of thousands remain hospitalized with COVID, and hundreds of Americans are still dying each day. Most Americans have not received a vaccine. All of this seems very likely to improve over the Spring months, but we urge everyone to keep their guard up during this time. We haven't come this far to give up now. And we owe it to the 530,000+ Americans who've lost their lives in the past 12 months to prevent any further pain.

    Fighting for a return to normal does not need to be a reckless endeavor.

    New York City's professional guides still believe that travel and safety can go hand in hand, and our website here contains information on our work during this crisis, including our Health & Safety Guidelines for travel. Our members have continued to provide unique experiences throughout the past year, and will continue to do so. GANYC is proud of how our members have represented their industry since last March.

    The Guides Association of NYC remains ready to work with any interested agencies or parties to help ensure a safe recovery for NYC's crucial tourism industry.

    Finally, for those interested, here is a quick roundup of reopening-related news:

    -NYC indoor dining capacity expands to 50% beginning March 19
    -Broadway theaters to open doors in April for pop-up events
    -Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum To Reopen To The Public March 25
    -NYC opening guide: Dates and details for events, museums, dining, travel, and more

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GANYC is an association of independent tour guides. Each member is licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. GANYC provides a listing of all member guides to the public. GANYC is not liable, or responsible, for contractual obligations made between clients and tour guides. GANYC stands for Guides Association Of New York City.
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