Like our earlier trip to the travel show in Los Angeles, the New York audience was extremely receptive to the ToursByLocals concept. They loved the idea of going to one website to find a curated list of independent, local guides wherever they travel. Other sites can - and do - provide listings of local tour guides, but they don't vet their guides the way we do. As we've said so many times, our guides are the backbone of our success as a company, and nothing is more important to us than cultivating working relationships based on mutual trust, respect and loyalty. This message really resonated with travelers at the show.
The real stars of our trip to New York were our New York City guides: Ammiel, Robert, Anna, Matthew, Michael, Ibrahima, Brian, Robin, Richard, Geovanni, Bill and Remo. We didn't have the chance to meet every TBL guide, but the ones we met were - without exception - fascinating, original, fun and deeply knowledgeable individuals. We thank them for helping us out at our booth and showing travelers what it means to be a ToursByLocals guide. And we sincerely recommend their services to anyone traveling to New York! Actually, we think you'd be nuts if you didn't take the opportunity to meet one of these fine people during your time here.
When we weren't meeting travelers at our trade show booth in the Javits Center, David and I were soaking up the city. (Check out the photos above!) We ate out in Union Square, Hells Kitchen and Greenwich Village; walked the streets of Soho, Nolita, Midtown, Downtown and Tribeca; tried a hot dog from Grey's Papaya and searched for the city's best cheesecake (you won't find it at Junior's). I had a guided tour of the Ground Zero site with Rob, and David saw a Broadway show. Despite the freezing temperatures, I happily checked off the most important item from my list: an early morning run around Central Park with hundreds of other spandex-clad New Yorkers.
It was less than five days in the city, but at the pace we went, it feels like we fit in two weeks' worth of activities. New York will do that to you.