CONSUMER AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES OUT-OF-TOWN TOUR
COMPANIES NOW REQUIRED TO USE ONLY LICENSED TOUR GUIDES
January 30, 2004
DCA to List All Licensed Tour Guides Online, Giving
Recognition to Guides with Exemplary Scores on New Licensing
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner
Gretchen Dykstra and City Councilman and Consumer Affairs
Committee Chairman Philip Reed, today announced out-of-town
companies conducting paid tours within New York City must
employ a tour guide licensed by the DCA. In addition beginning
in April 2004, the DCA will begin listing all licensed tour
guides online, giving special recognition to guides who pass
the new licensing exam with a score of 120 or more. Last spring,
the DCA instituted a new, comprehensive and challenging licensing
exam for the Citys tour guides.
All visitors to New York City deserve an accurate and
colorful tour, said DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra.
The law requires that out-of-town companies conducting
tours within the City have to use a licensed guide who knows
the lay of the land. This ensures that millions of tourists
who visit each year, will get both educational and fun tours
and therefore will be more likely to come back.
As tourists return in large numbers to the City, I
commend the DCA for recognizing the importance of out-of-town
companies using licensed tour guides, said Council Member
Philip Reed. The DCA has found a great way to balance
giving credit to veteran New York City tour guides, who have
superb knowledge of the city, as well as resolving the problem
of out-of town tour guides. Either way, this will enhance
the experience of people coming to visit New York, which is
a good thing for everyone.
New York City tour guides are an integral part of the
Citys tourism industry, welcoming millions of visitors
each year, said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president &
CEO of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing
organization. By making sure every tour company employs
a licensed guide further encourages the success of the City's
$21-billion tourism industry.
Having a listing online will make it much easier for
companies to find good, licensed tour guides, said Pete
Pantuso, President and CEO of the American Bus Association.
Whats good for the tourists is always good for
the tourism business.
By law, all new tour guides must take an exam when applying
for a license to test their knowledge of historic or public
points of interest in and about the City.
Licensed tour guides who pass the new licensing exam with
an exemplary score of a 120 or higher will receive special
recognition on the DCA web site, and will be part of an annual
alert to NYC & Co. and national tour companies. Guides
applying for a license for the first time must take the new
test and pass with a score of 97 out of 150, reflecting the
average grade of the first few hundred test takers. Veteran
tour guides - any guide who was licensed before May 17, 2003
- will no longer be required to take the new licensing exam
because of their extensive experience and successful passage
of a previous exam. However, any veteran guide who chooses
to take the new exam and receives a score of 120 or higher
will be included among those who receive special commendation.
DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law, as well as other
related City and State laws, at thousands of businesses throughout
New York City. DCA licenses more than 60,000 businesses in
55 different categories in New York City and educates both
consumers and businesses alike through free community seminars,
licensing forums, and other informational materials.
To file a complaint or for more information, call 311 or
go online at www.nyc.gov/consumers