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  1. A Great Autumn of Fam Tours!

     

    One of the great benefits of GANYC membership for the NYC guide community are our regular fam ("familiarization") tours. Every month, numerous GANYC members offer their fellow members a free (or low cost) tour that they developed themselves. This is one of the greatest ways that we all network with, and learn from, each other. These are common in the travel profession, but GANYC has long worked to take our offerings above and beyond.

    This Autumn has been a great example of the diversity of tours that GANYC guides offer, which in turns reflect the amazing diversity of NYC neighborhoods and attractions. Joe Svehlak gave several tours, including two tours of Harlem (Mt Morris Park, and Strivers Row & Hamilton Heights),  one on Czechoslovakian heritage on the Upper East Side, and the history of New Amsterdam. Stan O'Connor gave a tour of lower Manhattan focused on connections to the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. Jeremy Wilcox gave a Fall tour of Brooklyn's Prospect Park. And foliage was a theme of a day trip up to the Hudson Valley, to visit the Lyndhurst Mansion and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Another well-received day trip was organized by Andrea Coyle around the Gateway National Recreation Area... with stops at the Salt Marsh Nature Center, Floyd Bennet Field, the Rockaways, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Mel Wasserman took members to Industry City, in Brooklyn, to visit a guitar factory, and an interactive exhibition on MC Escher. Earlier this month, Bruce Bernstein led a great hike around historic, and architecturally stunning, Forest Hills in Queens. And Leigh Hallingby introduced members to the expansive Audubon Mural Project in upper Manhattan. All examples of the great diverse niches of our hundreds of members.

    We cover each fam tour that GANYC offers on our social media... be sure that you are following us there!

    Thank you to each guide who has offered these fam tours for us over the years, and we look forward to another great season of them!

     

  2. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Harvey Paul Davidson


    Introducing GANYC guide: Harvey Paul Davidson

    Company: AdHoc Committee

    Phone: 908-499-3735

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    12 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    My background and experience in the hospitality industry, including meeting and event planning, and working with tour operators.  Also, obtaining a Master's degree in Tourism and Travel Management.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    General NYC orientation step-on motorcoach tours and walking tours of specific neighborhoods.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    Manhattan financial district; Brooklyn neighborhoods.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Having tourists appreciate, learn and enjoy New York City.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Spring and summer.

    Have you or your company received any awards?

    GANYC recently awarded me a Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding dedication to the GANYC Industry Relations Committee.

    Past awards as a meeting and event planner include the following: Selected as “one of the ten best meeting planners of the year” by Meetings & Conventions magazine; Designated a “Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive” (CHME) by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International; Designated a “Certified Meeting Professional” (CMP) by the Convention Liaison Council and I now have emeritus status; Meeting News magazine Editors’ Choice Award “in recognition of one of the year’s most outstanding and innovative ideas in meeting         planning”; Meeting Professionals International “Distinguished Leadership” Award; Greater New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International  “Distinguished Service” Award; and, “Hall of Fame” Award Successful Meetings magazine “Gold Award for Meeting Planning”.

    What celebrities (if any) have patronized your business or organization? 

    One evening attending the Broadway play "Chicago," I was sitting alone in a box as it was the only seat available and my student tour group was spread out throughout the theater.  Before the play started they kept waving to me and I waived back and many in the audience thought I was a celebrity.  All of sudden, Tom Hanks, although not a patron, came in and sat beside me and the play started.  At intermission he ducked out but people in the audience started taking my photo and handing up their programs and asking for my autograph.  They also wanted to know where Tom Hanks went.  He probably went backstage as his wife, Rita Wilson, was the lead star in the play.  I tried explaining I was not a celebrity but they kept taking my photo and wanting me to sign their programs.  The second act began and when the play was over I asked Tom Hanks to sign my program for my student group which he did.  We then left the box. He went backstage again and I went to the exit where people were waiting for me, taking my photo and again asking for my autograph.  I crossed the street where I previously arranged to meet the students after the play and gave them the program with Tom Hank's autograph.

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

    I strongly urge my fellow guides to attend the conventions of the WFTGA and NFTGA as well as NYC & Company's Tourism Ready 1.0 when offered for free this coming spring.  All the aforementioned events have educational programs designed to prepare them to be better tour guides and offer business management skills.  Guides should also participate in GANYC's FAM trips, site inspections and professional development programs which are often free or have a minimal cost to attend.

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

    I'm available to offer advice and suggestions to my fellow guides on how to seek out tour guide opportunities.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Since 2006.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    I was working on a double decker sighting bus and a fellow guide told me about GANYC.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Most definitely. My efforts and accomplishments at GANYC resulted in recognition by the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations where I was elected to the board as Vice President and by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations where I was selected as the North American Representative. Being a member of GANYC, NFTGA and WFTGA has allowed me to attend industry events to meet with domestic and international leaders of tourism organizations and to speak at industry events and have consultation assignments.

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

    If you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty make sure you are on the first ferry out and have a ticket to visit the crown.


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

     

  3. GANYC Announces Bowery Boys as hosts of 5th-Annual Apple Awards

    The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC)  is proud to announce 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.

    As chroniclers of the history & culture of our great city, we are delighted that The Bowery Boys will be hosting this event in its 5th year. We thank all the people and organizations who have participated in the past, and we look forward to an even more amazing ceremony on March 4. Tickets will go on sale later this year.

    But first, we are still in the nominations phase for all categories! All active GANYC members are encouraged to submit their nominations: HERE. Nominations may be submitted until the end of this month. For categories like books, exhibitions, etc, the only eligible nominees were those made available to the public (released/opened) between October 1st 2017 and September 30 2018.

    Final voting will be open to GANYC members starting next month, by secret ballot, after the final nominees are selected.

    To learn more about the GANYC Apple Awards, visit https://www.ganyc.org/ganyc-apple-awards

  4. Friends of the Lower West Side on CBS!

    Our GANYC family may be interested in watching the CBS religion and culture program "How We Remember" airing on Sunday, October 21st at 3:30pm (EST).  It features Joe Svehlak's group the Friends of the Lower West Side in the last segment about their preservation efforts.  It is pertaining to memory, memorials and landmarks,  something we guides deal with in our profession.  Set your DVRs!

    It can also be accessed now on Google if you subscribe to CBS.

  5. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Megan Marod


    Introducing GANYC guide: Megan Marod!

    Company: Experience the Big Apple

    Phone: 817-592-1647

    Social Media: Instagram

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    5 years.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Thanksgiving.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I’ve always been a history nerd and I’ve always been a performer.  Guiding is the best of both worlds!

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    Walking, bus, chauffeured, boat.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    Shopping, food, Gossip Girl.
     

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    The most gratifying part of my work is knowing that I helped someone have a great time on their vacation.  I know how hard it can be to save up for a trip, and you want every dollar you spend to count.  It is great knowing that my experience can help someone make the most out of the experience, whether it be recommending restaurant, giving great insider shopping tips, pointing them towards their perfect Broadway show, or teaching them something about the history of the city that connects with today’s news and helps them see the whole world in a new way.

    What celebrities (if any) have patronized your business or organization? 

    I’ve given tours to the 76ers basketball team, Susan Sarandon, and the All Blacks rugby team, and cast member of ‘Matilda’ on Broadway.  I’ve also arranged for Rockettes and Broadway cast members to come out and say hello to my tourists.  Celebrities are always fun, however, everyone is deserving of the same amount of attention and TLC.  I try to treat all my clients as celebrities.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    1 year.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    All the guides know about GANYC! :-)

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    Anytime you join a network of people, your business is helped.  Guides can recommend other guides for jobs, guides can share knowledge of the city with each other, and guides can simply help another guide through a sticky business situation.  GANYC is a wonderful support system!

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

    If you are a shopper, visit www.chicmi.com to see what sample sales are happening.  They are the BEST deals you’re gonna find.

    Also - visit Dominique Ansel Bakery.  I’m obsessed.

  6. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Leigh Hallingby


    Introducing GANYC guide: Leigh Hallingby!

    Company: Harlem Walks

    Phone: 551-404-7514

    Social Media: Facebook

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    3.5 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    Love of going on walking tours in NYC and beyond.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking tours.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    Two public art tours: The Audubon Bird Mural Project in Hamilton Heights, and The Murals and Mosaics of East Harlem.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Seeing people on my tours get excited about the sights I show them.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    April - November.

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

    Yes, The Urban Audubon just did a profile about the Audubon Mural Project, and the tours of it that I give, in the Fall 2018 issue.



    Have you or your company received any awards?

    Yes, I was inducted into Special Libraries Association Hall of Fame in June 2017.

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

    My tours are very reasonably priced at $35 for tours that last 2 - 2.5 hours.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    1 year.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    My friend Maggie Brown.

    How has GANYC helped you and your business?

    So many ways! Great networking with other tour guides who have so much expertise and experience to share. Found website designer who did a terrific job for me. GANYC gives me opportunities to lead FAM tours and thus show other guides what I have to offer. GANYC sponsors professional development workshops such as how to market your tours. FB page is great place to ask quick questions and get answers, plus keep up a conversation among ourselves. Members of GANYC are truly nice people, trying to help one another to succeed.

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

    A Broadway theater is one that has 500 or more seats. An Off-Broadway theater has 100 - 499 seats. An Off-Off-Broadway theater has fewer than 100 seats.


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

  7. GANYC Announces New Certification Course!


    GANYC is proud to debut the first official round of our new Certification Course! This 10-week course is designed to enhance and certify GANYC members skills beyond mere licensing requirements.   GANYC certification will be promoted to advertise GANYC as the main resource for travelers and Tour Operators to go when seeking the very best professional guides in New York City. As licensing standards are continually under attack, GANYC needs to work to make clear to the world in many ways that our members are vetted professionals.

    Registration is available now!

    Key info: The course will take place over 10 consecutive weeks: Thursdays between Sept. 13th through Nov. 15th.   Course will include classroom sessions and fieldwork.  Classrooms sessions will be held at WeWork near Battery Park.  Fieldwork locations TBA.

    Class Schedule:
    Sept. 13   6pm to 9 pm
    Sept. 20   6pm to 9 pm
    Sept. 27   6 pm to 9 pm
    Oct. 4       6 pm to 9 pm
    Oct. 11    6 pm to 9 pm
    Oct. 18    3:30 pm to 7:30 pm
    Oct. 25    3:30pm to 6:30 pm
    Nov. 1       6 pm to 9 pm
    Nov. 8      6 pm to 9 pm
    Nov. 15    6 pm to 9 pm

    Attendance is mandatory at all sessions in order to be certified.

    Class size is limited to 15.  All participants must be GANYC members (Full or Provisional).  Tuition $300.

    Here are some testimonials from members who've taken the course:

    "I found the GANYC certification program extraordinarily enlightening in terms of what a tour can and should be. The different perspectives on our industry, how tours are designed, and what we should look for to talk about while out and about was eye-opening beyond my wildest dreams. After 12 years in this industry, this program has revolutionized my understanding of my craft and my business. Additionally, now that more and more cities are having their governmental licensing laws struck down, the writing is on the wall for New York. If GANYC ever wants to achieve its goal of legitimizing our trade and establishing proper professional standards, an in-house certification process is more important now than ever."
    --Matthew Baker
    (Beautiful New York Tours
    Secretary - Executive Board, National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations)

    "It was simultaneously an honor and a humbling experience to be in a class with so many gifted and senior tour guides. I pride myself on the quality of my tours, but was chastened by all I didn’t  know and all that I had to learn. I am a competitive person by nature, and this class really made me want to up my game—that’s the highest compliment I can give."
    -- Robert Brenner
    (Pig Feet Walking Tours)

    Space is limited for the fall 2018 session, sign up now!

  8. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Alison Martin


    Introducing GANYC guide: Alison Martin!

    Company: Alison's NYC Tours

    Phone: 646-524-5292

    Social Media: InstagramFacebook

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    Four years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    I've lived in New York City my entire life and I want to share my passion and knowledge with others.

    What types of tours do you offer? 

    I offer walking and private tours of New York City.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    I offer tours relating to art galleries and public art.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    Meeting new people and showing them the city I love.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    Summer.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    Two years.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    Fellow tour guides.

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

    Enjoy as much as you can during your visit. The number of things to see and do are endless. New York is a place like no other!


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

  9. GANYC Job Fair!

     

    Registration for the 2018 GANYC Job Fair & Talent Expo is now live!

    The event is open to *ALL* licensed NYC sightseeing guides. GANYC members attend for free. There is a fee for non-member guides, which can be applied toward membership application should you choose to join GANYC after the Fair.

    As many as 40 tour operators and destination management companies are expected to exhibit.

  10. Spotlight on GANYC Guide: Emmanuel Hadar


    ​Introducing GANYC guide: Emmanuel Hadar!

    Company: Giovanna Vista Corp

    Phone: 305-609-6795

    Email

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

    How long have you been a tour guide?

    8 years.

    What drove you to become a tour guide?

    The people of NYC.

    What is the most gratifying part of your work?

    A smile.

    What types of tours do you offer?

    Walking tours, bus tours and airport pickup.

    Do you offer Niche Tours?

    Synagogue tours.

    What time of year would you consider your busy season?

    September.

    How long have you been a member of GANYC?

    6 months.

    How did you hear or learn about GANYC?

    From a friend.

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

    Do not think twice, do what you want to do when you are in NYC.


    (For more info or to book a tour with Emmanuel, 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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