Next Meeting

The next Member Meeting:

November 14, 7:00 PM

Old Swedes Church
916 S Swanson St.

Tour of the grounds & meeting

 Free guided tour, Come at 6:45

Board Meeting starting with Andrew McDougall will begin at appr. 8:00 pm

Andrew McDougall from the National Park Service will also be there to answer questions about the new Commercial Use Authorization application and fees.



Download the latest NFTGA newsletter, The National Standard, here.



★ ★ ★


November 14, 7:00 PM

Old Swedes Church
916 S Swanson St.

Tour of the grounds & meeting

Andrew McDougall from the National Park Service will also be there to answer questions about the new Commercial Use Authorization application and fees.


December 12, 7:00 PM
Cavanaugh's Head House

APT Holiday Party and Elections



What happens in Philadelphia reaches everywhere!
Can a political candidate simply declare that he is the Voice of the People?  What does it take to be a "populist" leader?  Benjamin Franklin, of all the founders, earned that image.  John Adams was dismayed by this indulgent attitude toward the masses of regular people.  He favored a strong government peopled by the new nation's coterie of wealthy and influential leaders - and even considered making the American presidency a lifetime post.
On July 1, 1731, a half-century before Thomas Jefferson in his rented rooms at 7th and market Sts. composed those ringing phrases about a 'government based on the consent of the governed' - Franklin was organizing the world's first lending library for regular working people.  As Ben remarked, now Philadelphia's laborers and shopkeepers were discussing important issues like the lords of London.  "This could lead to their demanding more privileges for themselves."
Att a time when a large sheet of paper cost almost a week's wages, the average colonist could afford very few books besides their family Bible.  It was the wealthy and well-connected who had access to libraries in Europe's palaces, and in elite colleges like Harvard.
Franklin set out to change all that and, in the process, became more than just a voice of the people: he empowered the people to exercise their own voices.
He was not plotting independence in 1731, but he was planting the roots of the American character - well informed and fiercely independent.  It blossomed into the common-sense view that the right to rule rested in the people  Kings who claimed their right to rule came from God were becoming unnecesary, out-of-date, and too expensive.  Franklin was a genuine populist!
When Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, it was said that 20,000 people attended his funeral in Philadelphia - perhaps the largest peaceful gathering in 18th century America. 
That same year, Ben's Library Company moved into a new building on 5th St., near Chestnut.  It featured a statue of the famous founder perched over the front entrance.  Benjamin Franklin still presides there, dressed in a Roman toga, surrounded by the books he loved.  His right hand holds a scepter, the symbol of royal power - turned upside down.  A proud proclamation of American Truth to Power. 



What visitors are saying about the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides certified guides:

• The tour was the highlight of our visit

 Our guide was funny, fascinating and informative

 These are hands down, the best tour guides anywhere  -National Committee on U.S./China

 Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides certified guides are the guides to follow  -Mike Newall, The Inquirer

 Philly guides are America's top guides





APT Logo

The Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides (APT) was founded in 2008 to bring professional and volunteer guides together, to act as a voice for our membership, and to ensure a high quality experience to every visitor to our city. The Association conducts the Education and Certification Program for Philadelphia city guides.  APT, with a membership of about 180 as of January 2018, is a Pennsylvania non-profit organization.

APT knows that Philadelphia tour guides take great pride in the services they provide both visitors and local residents in exploring the rich historical, architectural and cultural resources of Philadelphia.

                 Contact Ed Mauger, President, with any questions at 



Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides at Pennsylvania Hospital


APT members at Pennsylvania Hospital with Stacey Peeples





If you're a Philadelphia tour guide or are involved in the city's tourism industry, the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides has a lot to offer you. In addition to individual membership, APT also offers a Corporate Associate Membership for corporations and organizations. See our Membership page and our Supporters and Benefits page for information on APT membership levels and perks.





APT members meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm. See "NEXT MEETING" on this page, left, for the date, time and place. Each meeting begins with a presentation by a guest speaker on topics ranging from 18th century clothing to current tourism issues.

You're welcome to join us anytime for convivial company, good food, fascinating presentations and lively discussions. We encourage you to attend as our guest.

To learn about other APT special events, workshops and speakers, see "UPCOMING" on this page, left.


Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides at the Betsy Ross JHouse

 Betsy Ross welcomes APT members to her home and shop





In 2011, APT began testing and certifying Philadelphia tour guides for basic knowledge of the city's history, people and sites. As of 2018, APT has certified 174 guides for professional competency.

Contact Ed Mauger at if you're interested in taking the APT Certification Exam.

APT has also established a program to identify and certify Master Tour Guides. These are veteran guides who have progressed well beyond the level of basic competence, who can be depended upon to meet and exceed client expectations under any circumstances.

For more information about APT certification programs, or to apply for the Master Guide Program, visit the Certification page on this site.





To promote high professional standards we have published a Tour Guides Handbook, an invaluable resource to anyone in the Philadelphia tourism industry.  The APT Handbook is considered one of the nation's most comprehensive and inclusive sources of information, a model for other city guide services. 

For more information on the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides Handbook and computer, tablet and phone friendly pdf, see the Handbook page, or purchase a copy at the APT Store.





Through our membership in the National Federation of Tour Guide Associations, APT is able to offer its members liability insurance with the Hartford Insurance Group at a low cost of $86 a year. You can download a FAQ or pay for insurance for 2018 at the APT Store.





APT maintains an informal, un-moderated email listserv for members. It's a great way to share notices of events you're involved in, recommend upcoming lectures or programs of interest to tour guides, or to post a question you may have about tour guiding or Philadelphia—tour guides love to share information!

The list is open to all members, but, in order to prevent unwanted spam to our membership and protect their privacy, members must subscribe to the list to either post or to receive notices.

To subscribe, simply send an email to with SUBSCRIBE in the subject or in the body of the email. After you've subscribed you can post to everyone on the list by sending your notice to





Do you want up to the minute APT news, comments and insights? Click on the icon to the left to visit us on Facebook. Are you worried about privacy? You don't even have to be a Facebook member to view our page.