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NYSAE typically reports from the perspective of the association headquarters staff. For this ongoing series we reached out to elected volunteer presidents who lead the board of directors and serves from an association headquarters in New York City.
Emma Guest-Consales, Ph.D., is President of the Guides Association of New York City (GANYC)
What is GANYC? Founded in 1974 by licensed tour guides, the Guides' Association of New York City (GANYC) is an association of independent, professional tour guides. Each member is licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Although based in NYC, GANYC is one of the oldest and most active tour guides associations in America. We provide services for the visiting public as well as for our members including tour guide education, familiarization tours (FAM Tours), professional development programs, and guide certification.

How has COVID-19 impacted GANYC? In this time of crisis, GANYC strives to be a resource for our members and for tour guides in New York City, and beyond. GANYC was the first major tour guide association to start tracking cancelled tours on March 7, a week before New York City businesses and attractions started shutting their doors. After March 12 (GANYC guides dubbed it “Red Thursday”), the trickle of cancelled tours grew to a flood, and by the end of the month, New York City tour guides had lost over $1.5M in tours. We used our data to lobby our representatives to include self-employed tour guides and other independent contractors in federal aid bills, including the CARES Act. Other tour guide associations, such as the DC Guild of Professional Tour Guides, as well as the National and World Federations of Tourist Guide Associations have used GANYC’s database as their model for collecting information on cancelled tours.

What are GANYC programs and activities? We held our first virtual monthly meeting on April 1 with over 180 members and guests in attendance. That meeting included panelists who spoke about temporary jobs, unemployment assistance, and the state of the tourism and travel industry. We will have more guest speakers at our May 6 meeting which will also be open to the general public. We keep our members updated weekly with The GANYC Virgil (named for the patron saint of guides), with contributions from all Board members. The latest editions of the Virgil can be found on the GANYC website, along with important information regarding the crisis and its effects on tourism:

Many GANYC members have started to offer virtual tours in various formats; a selection of these offerings can be found here: We will be hosting a free Professional Development Program for our members to learn how best to develop and host virtual tours, and we will be sure to advertise such tours on our website and social media. GANYC is also developing a new initiative, Tour Your Own City, to promote tours in New York City to local New Yorkers, and residents of the Tri-State. Anyone interested in visiting the city will find our new website with a complete listing of tours by location and type, with links to book tours. Be on the lookout for #touryourowncity tags!

Anything else we should know about you? I am excited GANYC is a member of NYSAE, I look forward to getting to know more of you soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions: 


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