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  1. Destination Capitol Hill

    Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) members traveled down to our nation's capitol this week to attend the US Travel Association's annual Destination Capitol Hill event. This 2-day event involves educating both travel professionals on how to make their voices heard, and then a full day of meetings with congressional staff on Capitol Hill on issues important to US travel. In attendance for GANYC were Harvey Paul Davidson, Emma Guest-Consales, Patrick Casey, and Jeremy Wilcox. With the former two representing New Jersey and the latter representing New York, GANYC was able to meet with members from two states, expanding our influence.

    On Wednesday, DCH attendees gathered at the Grand Hyatt to hear from the US Travel Association (represented by Roger Dow, Tori Barnes, Erik Hansen, Will Brown, & others) and their invited guests. We were reminded of the power of travel: it generates $2.5T in economic output, creates 15.7 million US jobs, and has created $69 billion travel trade surplus. Given the state of global politics, and America's changing standing in the world, we cannot take it for granted that international travelers will choose us for their vacation or business travel needs. We must work to remain an attractive and welcoming destination for travelers.

    One featured speaker on Wednesday was former congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS), who discussed with Ms. Barnes on how constituents can most effectively lobby and reach their representatives. All the events that day were followed by a networking reception.

    Thursday was the key day: the Capitol Hill visits. Between the 4 members in attendance, GANYC had well over a dozen scheduled meetings with Senate and Congressional legislative directors, as well as a couple dozen packets to drop off at other New York & New Jersey offices. It should be noted that, with these meetings, it is fairly rare to meet with the Representative or Senator themselves, but rather it is a sit-down meeting with their staff responsible for legislative matters. For those who never done something like this, it is highly recommended. A visit to the Senate and House office buildings-- which are open to the public-- is a great way to restore faith in our democratic system and truly engage with it. Most of the staffers you meet with are, not unlike tour guides, very busy but absolutely in love with their work. GANYC members had meetings with the staff of Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Menendez, Booker, and Representatives Pascrell, Nadler, Clarke, Espaillat, Peter King, and many others.

    Some of the issues that the US Travel Association wished to push representatives on included: the renewal of Brand USA (a public-private partnership created by the Travel Promotion Act, to market the US to international travelers), the passage of H.R. 1996 (to rename the important visa waiver program as the Secure Travel Partnership, & other related purposes), the passage of H.R. 1225 (Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, to address the maintenance backlog of the National Park Service... Senate version is S.500), and a renewal of America's travel infrastructure.

    GANYC and its Board have worked to make our organization more than a mere collection of local guides, but also a globally-recognized face of the travel & tourism in America's largest city. Events like Destination Capitol Hill, as well as our trips to events around the world for the NFTGA or  WFTGA help boost this profile. We are thankful for our members support, and we will keep working to make sure that people know to turn to GANYC for the best information & experience related to New York City travel.

  2. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Stephen Dym


    Introducing GANYC guide: Stephen Dym

    Company: Wed in NYC

    Social Media: Facebook

    Phone: 917-855-6830

    Email

    =====================================

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    15 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    As a Native New Yorker, public speaker, performance artist and history buff it was a natural fit.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    I am a wedding officiant and specialize in tourist-oriented custom elopement style weddings in public spaces in NYC (like Central Park and Dumbo).

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Helping people celebrate each other and sharing their joy.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    April to December.

    Have you or your company received any awards?

    Weddingwire’s people choice award 2017.

    What special deals, sales, events or promotions are you offering to GANYC Members and our industry partners?

    I will be happy to offer commission/finders fee for referrals. I look forward  to referring my clients and their guests to activities and tours with partners  and GANYC members and to other collaborations.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    6 months.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Word of mouth.

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    NYC is a great place for tourist-oriented, elopement style weddings. Iconic sights such as Central Park, Top of the Rock, and Brooklyn Bridge Park (DUMBO) offer free or almost free exciting venues and the entertainment and dining opportunities are among the best on the planet.


    (For more info or to book a tour or wedding with Stephen, check out his GANYC profile by clicking here.)

  3. Spotlight on Industry Partner: Explorica Tours


    Introducing GANYC industry partner -- Deirdre Rivas, of Explorica Tours

    145 Tremont St., 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02111

    Website: https://www.explorica.com/

    Email

    Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter


    =================================


    What year did your business open?

    2000.

    Can you tell us a little about your ideal customer?

    Teachers with open minds for adventure!

    What drove you to work or create this company?

    I have been a licensed DC and NYC tour guide/director for 10 years and I have a HUGE passion for a student travel. I am also an organized leader and TD trainer, so becoming the TD Supervisor was a logical next step when I decided to get of the road for awhile.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Knowing that we can provide life changing experiences for students.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    March-June.


    (About Explorica: Founded in 2000, Explorica helps teachers create educational tours full of authentic, interactive learning experiences. They specialize in connecting teachers and students to new cultures, languages and people on educational tours across the globe.

    Explorica’s combination of exclusive online tools and personalized service enables them to create tours uniquely suited to provide both the best value and the most customized tours in the industry.

    Every Explorica tour includes flights or bus transportation, accommodations, on-tour transportation, most meals and an expert, full-time Tour Director dedicated to your group. And with veteran Program Consultants, Customer Care Representatives, and comprehensive, user-friendly website, they’re always here to support you from the moment you contact them, to the minute you shout bon voyage!

    Join more than 1 million teachers and students in experiencing the world on Explorica tours.)

  4. 2019 GANYC Apple Awards: Full Video!


    We once again thank everyone who made our 5th-Annual GANYC Apple Awards such an amazing evening. We as tour guides professionally celebrate this city and we created these Awards to honor the other people and institutions who help tell its story, and keep its history alive. With our wonderful hosts The Bowery Boys, we believe we did just that on March 4 at the SVA Theater. 

    Missed the festivities? Here is the video of the ceremony, and our other video packages:
     









    We look forward to celebrating with you again next year!
     

  5. GANYC Celebrated 5th-Annual Apple Awards!


    The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) presented its 5th-annual Apple Awards at a festive ceremony on March 4 at the SVA Theater, in Chelsea. GANYC honored numerous organizations and people with Apple Awards for encouraging and promoting New York City tourism, culture and preservation while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tourist guides. 

    The ceremony, hosted by the award-winning Bowery Boys was a smashing success. Their humor and love of New York was contagious throughout the auditorium. Presenters included Nathan Kensinger, Jenny Dorsey, Jose Raudales, and Milly Tamarez, among others. In addition to the entertainment by our host, presenters, and winners, guests also viewed videos about the work guides do, and our In Memoriam reel of New Yorkers and institutions that we lost in the past year.

    Images and videos of the GANYC Apple Awards are being posted on our website and social media channels throughout the week.

    Here is the complete list of 2018 GANYC Apple Award Winners:

    Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Culture

    New York Transit Museum

    Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Tourism

    Paul Torres, Head of Sales at Statue Cruises

    Outstanding Achievement in Support of NYC Preservation

    Municipal Art Society of New York

    Outstanding NYC Website

    NYPL Digital Collections

    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Photography

    Andrew Garn, 'Pigeon with a View'

    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Radio Program or Podcast (Audio/Spoken Word)

    'Joanna and Kevin's Big Show', Kevin Fitzpatrick & Joanna Holliday

    Outstanding Achievement in Fiction NYC Book Writing

    Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

    Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction NYC Book Writing

    Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 (The History of NYC Series), by Mike Wallace

    Outstanding Achievement in Essay/Article/Series Writing

    Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence, by Kevin Baker

    Outstanding Achievement in NYC Food

    ReThink Food NYC Inc

    Outstanding NYC Museum Exhibitions

    Poetry in Motion at 25, at The New York Transit Museum

    In addition, GANYC presented two legacy awards: The Lifetime Achievement  Award was presented to Drama Book Shop owner Rozanne Seelen, and the Guiding Spirit Award was presented to Nina Mende!

    The dozens of nominees across 11 Outstanding Achievement categories were announced by the GANYC Awards Committee in December; visit https://www.ganyc.org/2019-ganyc-apple-awards to view the complete list of nominees. The GANYC membership voted on the nominees through mid-January, leading up to the awards ceremony on March 4, where the winners were announced.

  6. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Ibrahima Diallo


    Introducing GANYC guide: Ibrahima Diallo

    Company: All New York Fun Tours

    Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

    Phone: 646-205-8188

    Email

    =====================================

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    12 Years (Since 2007)

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    1- Passion for New York City,
    2- Giving back to the city (thank you to the city for allowing me to be another immigrant story).

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    People will never forget how you made them feel the first time, or the last time they visited NYC.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Private Customized (by walking or usage of vehicle), and Photography (photoshoot and workshops).

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Any booking (just kidding); April to December.

    Have you or your company received any awards?

    Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor in 2013 & 2016.

    Have you or your company been featured  in print, broadcast or online media? 

    The following ones come to mind, and I am grateful:

    1/ Quoted Magazine front page and coverage, https://www.quotedmagazine.com/vol-1
     


     

     

    2/ Huffington Post Blog Article

    3/ Quoted in the Brownstoner.

    4/ 2012 PRI's The World (NPR): NYC Through the eyes of Senegalese immigrant tour guide.


    What celebrities (if any) have patronized your business or organization?  Any fun stories about when they visit your business?

    Mostly officials (some mayors and influential business owners), not always funny but I make sure that we all have fun. Unrelated perhaps, on one tour we drove by Tom Cruise, and my client asked to get off the vehicle, I quickly responded have a sit because we have more coming.

    What upcoming or annual events, promotions or sales would you like to promote? 

    Our website www.allnyfuntours.com will have the most up to date information on that.

    What special deals, sales, events or promotions are you offering to GANYC Members and our industry partners?

    It's always a discount when you are a GANYC member, just mention it and you will have a reduction. Since we offer variety of tours at different prices, it will be based on which one you pick.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since 2012.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Through colleagues, other members.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Made me (thus the business) more visible and trustworthy to agencies.

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    There's something for everyone, at every corner of NYC, just take it easy and you will have an incredible experience, no need to rush, you will never see it all, the best way to enjoy NYC is to enjoy every bit of it.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Ibrahima, check out his GANYC profile by clicking here.)

  7. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Stan O'Connor

    Introducing GANYC guide: Stan O'Connor

    Company: Isle Of New York Tours, llc

    Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

    Phone: 917-716-4521

    Email

    =====================================

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    Since the 1990s.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    April to January.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I want to show off New York City for the wonder that it is. I enjoy getting to know people from around the world.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking, boat, limo, coach, even subways.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    When the customer more fully understands what they've experienced.

    What upcoming or annual events, promotions or sales would you like to promote? 

    All through the month of March, the US, UK, Canada and Ireland Tour of Lower Manhattan. The tour ties together old and new contributions of these four countries, from 300 years ago to the present day.

    Private tours: $200 for up to 10 people.
    25% discount, $175 for your group if you are reading this. Use the code: Swords.

    What special deals, sales, events or promotions are you offering to GANYC Members and our industry partners?

    I give fam tours that sometimes go into geology, architectural history Houma and land use. They are free. And I'm happy to Mentor new guides.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since 2001, though sometimes I renewed late and there were lapses.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Other guides.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    It has certainly taught me a lot about professionalism, street knowledge and better ways of doing business.

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    Get an unlimited ride Metrocard for the amount of time that you're staying here. Use the Subways and buses, because they are more reliable than car traffic.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Stan, check out his GANYC profile by clicking here.)

  8. Congratulations To New GANYC Certified Guides!


    GANYC completed the second round of its certification course last year and, at this month's membership meeting, several newly certified members received their certificates! These courses are designed to enhance and certify GANYC members skills beyond mere licensing requirements. This is an aspect of GANYC that we will continue to expand, in our efforts to provide continuing education to guides, and to bring global standards for guiding to our great city.

    Congratulations to all our newly certified guides!
     

  9. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Tim Ries


    Introducing GANYC guide: Tim Ries

    Company: Tourist New York

    Phone: 929-379-7643

    Email

    =====================================

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    14 years.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Early April through December. The winter holiday rush is compounded by out-of-town relatives looking for a tour!

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    Being married to a born-and-bred New Yorker who's an architectural historian, preservationist, and educator certainly gave me the push in the right direction to pursue a job in tourism/hospitality after I decided to leave the rough-and tumble world of film and television production.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking, Biking, Bus.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    High Line tours.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    I’m a people person. I am always happiest – and most gratified – when I am interacting with tour group members, making sure I am able to meet their needs and giving them the best possible tourist experience. Helping people with tourism logistics, e.g., directions, dining and shopping suggestions, etc., after the tour is also a favorite part of the job.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since June 26, 2014.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    I heard about GANYC from Lee Gelber and Nina Mende while working at CitySights NY. Also, Dave Gardner was a very positive influence in all-things-GANYC who convinced me to join the organization!

    What's your advice or Tour Guide tip you love to share to people visiting New York?

    Walk with alacrity(!) and be open to a sense of adventure.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Tim, check out his GANYC profile by clicking here.)

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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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