Tailored Tours: A Handy Way to See New York City

New York City can be complex and unforgiving.
New York City can be complex and unforgiving.

Tailored Tours: A Handy Way to See New York City

By Melissa Vitti

A city as complex and unforgiving as New York offers little instruction for the average tourist. A new on-line service aims to make the overwhelming task of seeing all the city’s attractions a bit more manageable.

Chris Karel of Bronx, New York, was tired of jotting down directions to sights in the city on his way out the door to work for his visitors from out of town. His solution; TailoredTours.com, an online service that provides maps with detailed descriptions of each attraction custom fit to meet the needs of a wide range of travelers. Finding things to do in NYC has never been easier!

With 43 million visitors to New York each year, the market for such a service was already created for this former British Airways employee.

Karel and his wife launched Tailored Tours at the beginning of this year and are committed to the site’s success. The couple has been working hard scoping out every feature on the tours. Together they write out detailed descriptions and take pictures of the attractions.

A Guide to New York

The site’s categories range from “Family Friendly” to “The Perfect Date.” Most of these self-guided tours are only $3.00 but some such as the “Spring Break Tour” cost $6.00. The tours are sent via-email and can be downloaded and printed after purchase.

I was given the opportunity to check out these tours first hand by Karel. Since I’m quite unfamiliar with New York I was expecting a standard map with a couple of featured sites described. To my surprise and Karel’s credit, I had New York’s Fifth Avenue at my finger tips.

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty

The downloaded tour starts with a color coded map complete with an expected duration time and distance. The expected duration time varies because of the itinerary’s suggested activities.

Scrolling down, I found a detailed description of what was illustrated on the first page. Starting with directions to the tour’s featured area, follows a detailed description of every possible factoid about the sight’s attractions.

The paragraphs are reader friendly equipped with pictures and a brief history of why the sight is famous. Once you’re done with the specific attraction, it’s as if there’s someone right there telling you how to reach the next objective. This is crucial if you’re not a visual learner and it picks up where a map might lose you.

Beyond historic buildings and plazas the Tailored Tour itineraries include note worthy restaurants, bars and shopping stops. After reading my itinerary I had some skepticism about the featured companies, assuming there was some sort of promotional relationship between the tour and business. This is not the case, “I doubt most of the businesses are even aware they’re apart of our tour,” says Karel.

Here to Stay

Tailored Tours is considerably successful given its only been active for a few months. Karel claims that they haven’t received any complaints from past customers and have already sold over a 1,000 tours.

Times Square
Times Square

The site warns not to re-distribute the tours in massive quantities but this is difficult to follow up on. Karel is relying on people’s good faith as well as regularly updating the tours to keep the site thriving. The site does say that it’s alright to pass on a past tour to friends and family

Since Tailored Tours has already conquered New York, the site’s extension may be coming to a city near you. They plan on extending their service to Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C. relatively soon.

The service seems a bit obvious to be a new idea but it’s quite the opposite. When I asked Karel about the threat of competitors he replied, “as far as I know we’re the only sightseeing tour via- email.” I searched the internet for any sites with similar services but came up with nothing.

Check it Out

Tailored Tours can be downloaded with Adobe Reader once received in an e-mail. The site offers a sample tour to a fictional city for prospective customers and they also offer gift certificates. They do not offer refunds and all sales are final so be sure to check out the weather before embarking on a trip. To check out Tailored Tours yourself visit: TailoredTours.com.

Melissa Vitti

Melissa Vitti

is an intern at GoNOMAD.com. She attends the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

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