Walking Tour Incubator Grant Program
The Downtown Alliance has helped develop five new walking tours through its Walking Tour Incubator Grant Program. The walking tours were chosen as winners following an application process that encouraged submissions of compelling and original tour concepts that went beyond the typical downtown highlights.
The five entrepreneurs leading the tours have undergone a rigorous two-month incubator, led by the Downtown Alliance, which included one-on-one coaching from tourism industry leaders and a cutting-edge educational curriculum designed for tour businesses. Each winner has also received a grant of up to $12,500 to help develop, launch and scale their walking tour.
Descriptions of the walking tours:
- Downtown LGBTQ+ Activism Walking Tour by Christopher Street Tours: visits historic sites that shaped the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement, including spots where pivotal protests were ignited and lead activists fought for justice. For more info, click here.
- Sinister Secrets of the Seaport by the South Street Seaport Museum: takes visitors on a twisting journey through the Seaport, unraveling scandalous stories ripped from the headlines and publications from the 1790s to the 1990s. For more info, click here.
- Escape to New York – Stories of Faith, Freedom and Fortune by Vivace Tours: brings visitors through the history of Lower Manhattan, from New Amsterdam to today, by showing what makes New York City such a unique enclave of people from around the world seeking both religious freedom and fortune. For more info, click here.
- How To Be A New Yorker: Downtown Edition by Awesome Walks: an interactive, immersive audio group walking tour where participants will meet business owners and community leaders, thinkers and doers, and get to see the city through their eyes. For more info, click here.
- Culinary Master Dining Experience & NYC Afternoon Culinary Adventure by Inside Out Tours: Two tours — Culinary Masters is a progressive meal journey featuring three renowned chefs and restaurants; the Culinary Adventure is a mouthwatering tasting tour across Lower Manhattan led by expert guides. For more info, click here.
In addition to our five grant recipients, there were six runners up who deserve special recognition, and will receive a spot at TripSchool (a $999 value) in order to have the community and support to continue building their downtown tours. These applicants offered exciting ideas to help broaden the depth of the tourism experience in Lower Manhattan, and we hope these tours find success in the future.
- Asad Dandia’s Grassroots Gotham Walking Tours
- Public Opinion Productions’ the People of Downtown NYC Walking Tour
- Fit Tours’ Downtown NYC Sunrise Yoga Walking Tour
- Region NYC’s Subterranean Transit Walking Tours
- Glam Gardener’s Downtown NYC Foraging Walking Tour
- Clazz Enterprises’ South Street Seaport Tours