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  1. 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!
     

  2. 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.)

  3. Tiny New York

    At our monthly meetings, GANYC regularly features a guest speaker on a variety of topics... from secret places in NYC to the history of the NYC sanitation department (a fascinating discussion) to featured architects and historians, and more. Our Education Committee and other volunteers do a fantastic job of always finding great people to discuss so many different aspects of the city to our members and guests.

    For our January meeting, our speaker Suzi Siegel, journalist and author, discussed her book, "Tiny New York". In a city of big things (population, buildings, etc), this book focuses on the tiny things. You can watch the full video of her talk to GANYC and the following Q&A here:
     


     
  4. GANYC Statement on Government Shutdown


    In light of the ongoing government shutdown, the Guides Association of NYC (GANYC) is here to help visitors to New York navigate this rapidly changing environment. Our membership of hundreds of licensed, vetted tourist guides are your key to unlocking this city. GANYC is available to provide alternatives and advice to visitors, and those in the tourism industry.

    Currently, several sites around the NYC area-- such as Federal Hall, the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, General Grant National Memorial, and others-- remain closed due to the lack of appropriations. Both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain open due to emergency state appropriations. Our members are the front faces of the tourism industry and work to stay on top all the latest developments in New York for you.

    You may contact us directly, or use the directory of guides and services our website-- GANYC.org-- to find the options that best suit your travel needs.

    Thank you,
    Guides Association of NYC

  5. GANYC Apple Awards Tickets & Voting Deadlines


    The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC)  is so happy that award-winning podcast hosts The Bowery Boys (Thomas Meyers and Gregory Young) will host the 5th Annual GANYC Apple Awards on March 4, 2019 at the SVA Theater. The Apple Awards celebrate those who make New York City great. Over a dozen awards are given out to individuals & organizations who’ve shown exceptional commitment to improving our city and our experience as tour guides.

    We just want to remind our members that the deadline to vote is this coming weekend. All members, even provisional, can vote. Make sure that you are logged in to your WildApricot account and go here: https://ganyc.wildapricot.org/Sys/Poll/4588

    For tickets to the event (ceremony tickets, as well as the VIP package with access to the pre-ceremony reception), these will be on sale until the day of the event. However, early-bird pricing will end this weekend. The link for tickets is here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-ganyc-apple-awards-tickets-52717514505

    Members were previously sent a code to unlock the members discount. If you need that, see the GANYC Announcements page for that information.

    Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all in March!

  6. NY Council Members Offer Support to Tourism Industry


    Three members of NYC's City Council-- Keith Powers, Paul Vallone, & Jimmy Van Bramer -- wrote an editorial for Crain's Business: The city should do more to support our burgeoning tourism industry

    They state:

    "According to NYC & Company, the city's marketing organization for tourism, visitors brought in nearly $4.2 billion in 2016. However, the city spends less on tourism promotion than Las Vegas, San Francisco and Barcelona, and the budget for tourism has declined by 22% in the past decade.

    In order to stay competitive, New York needs to create a comprehensive, citywide plan to manage the tourism boom, one that addresses the challenges that visitors face. The plan should revamp our infrastructure, ensure that tourism is an integral part of the city's jobs planning and include all boroughs."

    We couldn't agree more. The city cannot rest on its laurels, nor continue to rely on infrastructure that is, in some case, over a century old.

    They also note that:

    "Finally, we need to expand tourism in the outer boroughs so all New Yorkers benefit from the industry. Tourists tend to congregate in Manhattan hot spots, like Times Square and Central Park. But New York is much more than those iconic areas. There is untapped potential for new tourist destinations in the outer boroughs that could bring vital economic growth, and a new look at our city."

    And we enthusiastically agree here. New York is a large and diverse city, and its tourism is starting to reflect that. One way that GANYC's guides work to represent this growing industry is through our diversity... not just in our pool of guides, but also in the topics and neighborhoods that they cover. Many of our guides are multilingual. Most are multi-borough in knowledge and experience. Many have numerous certifications. And decades of experience.

    We are happy to work as an organization to boost the profile of our industry and our guides... and look forward to working with the City Council on any initiatives they may reach out to us on. Our President, Michael Dillinger, will be writing a letter soon to the Council members to begin that work. And, as always, we are happy to speak to members of the press about what a valuable resource GANYC can be.

  7. GANYC Visits LIC & Washington Heights!


    We wrote earlier this month about the many great & diverse fam tours that GANYC members have offered this Autumn. We cannot thank our members enough who generously offer their time to take and participate in these events. We had two other great events recently-- one organized by us, and another a private event that we were invited to participate in.

    One was another great fam tour. With Amazon's plans to build a new HQ complex in Long Island City, in Queens, creating lots of news and controversy both here and nationally, guide and journalist  Norman Oder gave an excellent tour of the area... focusing on its history and future.

    New York magazine declared LIC the country’s fastest-growing neighborhood, and it is not hard to see why when you are there. New construction going up everywhere you look. But, prior to the incorporation of New York City in 1898, the area was its own separate city (hence the name) and covered a huge chunk of western Queens. GANYC members saw historic homes from that era,  signs of the former industrial past, art institutions that defined the  area at the turn of this century, and its growing future.

    This is an important neighborhood in New York, and one worth exploring as these changes and debates continue.

    The second event this past week was a private event organized by Washington Heights BID, GO^UPTOWN, and many other organizations. They sponsored Taste Uptown 2018, on Wednesday November 28th. GANYC members were invited to attend.

    23 restaurants from the neighborhood rolled out a fabulous spread of food and drink. The representatives of Washington Heights are so proud of their beautiful, historic, diverse, and delicious neighborhood and so excited about GANYC and other organizations bringing more visitors uptown. Attractions include the Dyckman Farmhouse and United Palace Theater, both of which were available for touring in advance. Also, Inwood Hill Park, stunning views along the Hudson, the Audubon Mural Project and the Morris-Jumel mansion. Wednesday's program included remarks by sponsors, a slide show of Washington Heights in autumn, and some great music too.

    Thanks to member Leigh Hallingby for the summary of that event.

    During the winter months, we'll be offering at least one more PDP (professional development program), and we have some site inspections and fam tours in the works too.  Stay tuned for those as we finalize & announce them.

     

  8. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Leanne Staples


    Introducing GANYC guide: Leanne Staples

    Company: Shoot New York City

    Phone: 914-582-3474

    Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    8+ years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    My love of NYC.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking photography tours.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Sharing my passion for NYC and photography with people from around the world.

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

    Yes, on BronxNet Television.
     




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

    I provide walking photo tours all year.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    April & October are my busiest months.

    Have you or your company received any awards?

    150 Excellent Reviews on TripAdvisor!

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

    15% discount.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    2 years.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    A search through Google.

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

    Everything takes longer than you think it will. It's better to get to know an area well than to try to see and do everything all at once. Even New Yorkers don't get to do that.


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

  9. NY1: Do You Have What it Takes to Be an NYC Tour Guide?


    NY1 participated with the Guides Association of NYC  (GANYC) for a segment that aired Thursday night entitled, "Do You Have  What it Takes to Be an NYC Tour Guide?". We thank NY1-- an excellent  source for local journalism-- for speaking with several GANYC members  about our profession (see accompanying article, which has different info  & quotes than the aired piece).

    The  NYC licensing exam, created by former GANYC member Justin Ferate, is an important step to ensure that those giving tours in NYC have a tested, basic base of knowledge before they serve as the ambassadors to our city. GANYC continues to work to promote licensed guides, and the  importance of our profession to preserving this city's economy, culture, and history. We are career guides who take pride in providing unique tours to both visitors and locals. And the range of tours that GANYC members offer is as diverse as the city itself.

    We  do wish, however, that rather than focus on an angle about 2 perceived inaccuracies(*) over the course of 4 full tours that the reporter took  (including one GANYC fam tour-- "When New York Was Nieuw Amsterdam", with Joe Svehlak), that the reporter had also mentioned what she learned  and experienced on these 4 tours. Did she learn anything new? What was the experience of the tour like? What was unique about each? 20 seconds of information out of hours worth of touring is not representative about any tour or guide, though we always encourage guides to keep growing and learning. That's why GANYC offers our own internal Certification Course, as well as fam tours, PDPs, and other education offerings.

    We  will also note that the reporter was an invited guest on our fam tour,  which was not highlighted in the segment. There are over 3,000 licensed  guides in NYC and GANYC's nearly 400 members are the best of the best. We encourage all licensed NYC guides to join GANYC and become part of the great family we have built, as we all learn and benefit from each other.

    Thanks to all who watched the segment, and we encourage everyone to seek out GANYC as the go-to source for tourism in New York.

    Article: Do You Have What it Takes to Be an NYC Tour Guide?

     

     

    [*Regarding the 2 minor inaccuracies the reporter found over the course of 8 hours of touring. The first example, the guide got the amount of the sale correct... the flub was over where that sale ranked in the list of real estate deals (it is among the higher). The second wasn't even an inaccuracy at all. The guide states: "This is the New York Marble -- this is one of the first secular cemeteries in the city." The reporter points out that the other, nearby cemetery with a very similar name was the first secular cemetery in NY, and that the one he was at was the second secular cemetery. The second such cemetery is, by definition, "one of the first secular cemeteries", exactly what the guide said, and is not 'almost true', but 100% true. The reporter found no flaws or quibbles with the Greenwich Village tour she took, nor with Joe Svehlak's excellent New Amsterdam fam tour.]

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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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