Introducing GANYC guide: Harvey Paul Davidson
Company: AdHoc Committee
How long have you been a tour guide?
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?
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.)