(By Mayor London Breed)
My Fellow San Franciscans,
This past week, I joined Supervisor Matt Dorsey, business and community leaders for the inaugural celebration of San Francisco’s Welcome Ambassador program. Officially launched in October 2021, the program is supported by the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District (SFTID) in partnership with the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA).
As part of my Downtown Recovery Plan, the SF Welcome Ambassadors, who wear distinctive orange jackets with a depiction of the Golden Gate Bridge, provide a welcoming and positive experience in the City’s downtown and tourist areas by engaging and connecting with visitors and office workers. In addition to being stationed in key tourism and commuting areas, Welcome Ambassadors assist at events such as conventions, cruise ship arrivals, and festivals.
Our Welcome Ambassadors program have made a real difference for visitors, workers, and residents in our City.
Just last month, the SF Welcome Ambassador Program received the “Visitor Experience Award” from the California Travel Association (CalTravel). CalTravel Awards recognize individuals and organizations whose leadership efforts have significantly impacted California’s travel and tourism industry. The SF Welcome Ambassador Program was honored for its consistent and high-quality guest services, unique experiences, and customer value, elevating California’s reputation to inspire more visitors to the state.
To build on that success, we recently announced the expansion of community ambassadors and civilian police department personnel to help improve public safety in San Francisco, to include adding 50 more ambassadors to the SF Welcome Ambassador program. In total, the expansion will add up to 150 new ambassadors and attendants, which are expected to be a mix of Mid-Market/Tenderloin Safety Ambassadors, orange jacketed SF Welcome Ambassadors, BART service attendants, and SFPD Community Ambassadors.
Currently, there are 92 Welcome Ambassadors assigned to locations throughout San Francisco, including the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, Chinatown, North Beach, Market Street, Moscone Center, the East Cut, Union Square and Cable Car turnarounds. The San Francisco Tourism Improvement District manages the program through a grant from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).
Welcome Ambassadors keep track of their interactions with visitors and residents to measure impact and results. As of November 1, 2022, the ambassadors tracked over 4 million interactions with members of the public. Over the last year, SF Welcome Ambassadors have given:
‧ Directions over 250,000 times
‧ Information about City attractions and museums to over 100,000 people
‧ Business information over 57,000 times
‧ Over 20,000 hospitality escorts
‧ Restaurant recommendations nearly 14,000 times
We’ve heard from small business owners, conventions, retailers, neighborhood groups, and so many more about how these ambassadors are changing the feeling in our Downtown and tourist areas. This is all part of our plan to make San Francisco a safer and more welcoming City for all.
Please add me on WeChat for updates and resources: londonbreed.
London N. Breed
London N. Breed