5 Questions: a Fireside Chat with Georgette Blau, CEO of On Location Tours

Georgette Blau

I recently sat down with Georgette Blau, the CEO of On Location Tours, a hugely popular tourist attraction and one of the largest TV and movie tour companies operating in multiple U.S. cities. Here is what she had to tell us.

1. Can you tell us what is On Location Tours? 

Yes, absolutely. I founded On Location Tours in 1999 when I realized I lived right down from the Jefferson’s apartment building. As in the classic TV show, the Jeffersons from the 1970s. And I realized there were TV and movie locations all around me in New York City. So I launched On Location Tours as one of the only TV and movie tour companies in the world, and we focus only on TV and movie locations. Over the years, we’ve become the largest company offering movie tours.  

2. How many visitors do you service in an average year? 

We generally have up to 100,000 visitors per year, but it kind of depends on the year. We tend to go from approximately 50,000 a year up to 100,000 a year. 

3. How many unique products, or I should say, tours do you offer and in how many cities?  

We’re now in three cities. We’re in New York City, Boston and we just launched Chicago. In New York, we have approximately ten TV and movie tours, including The Sopranos tour, the Sex in the City tour, the Superhero tour, the Gossip Girls tour, and the NYC TV movie tour. In Boston, we have the Boston Movie Mile, the Boston TV and Movie bus tour. In Chicago, we have a Chicago downtown movie tour and a tour of the suburbs. 

4. Which POS/Ticketing are you currently using and since when? 

We started with FareHarbor in 2016 and we’ve generally been very happy with them. However, recently, in the past couple of months, they’ve had some challenges, staffing challenges and we haven’t been able to have our website updated. We’ve been having a lot of issues with products not being updated on their POS systems, but we know those issues are only temporary. 

5. Any upcoming challenges you foresee for the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024? 

I think that 2023 is going to be a good year overall, going into 2024. However, we do have one lingering problem, and that is the labor shortage. We are currently having that issue, and we will likely continue to have it in 2024. We only hire actors and actresses; however, we’re finding either that we’re hiring them and that they’re leaving us soon (which would never happen), or we’re just not finding them. That’s been a real challenge, so we’re trying to become more creative in how we find our labor, whether it’s through other actors’ referrals, blogs, discussion forums and places like that. And on the positive side of things, we’re in the process of launching a few new, very niche private tours such as Ghostbusters Tours and the Devil Wears Prada Tours. We’re hopeful that these new tours will attract more visitors for us in 2024.