Mayor London Breed Celebrates Official Launch of San Francisco Welcome Ambassadors Program
Two-year, $12.5 million initiative stations Welcome Ambassadors downtown and in key transit and tourist areas to greet and assist employees, commuters, visitors, and residents
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the official launch of the San Francisco Welcome Ambassadors Program, which aims to create a safer and more hospitable environment for returning employees, commuters, visitors, and residents to the City’s downtown and tourist areas. As part of Mayor Breed’s Downtown Recovery Plan, ambassadors will connect people in need with services and provide a welcoming presence throughout the City’s busiest corridors.
Once fully operating, the program will deploy 50 Welcome Ambassadors to locations throughout the City, including all downtown BART stations, Market Street, Moscone Center, East Cut, the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square, and the Cable Car turnarounds. The program is expected to create over 100 jobs.
“This program represents a major investment to advance the City’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Breed. “By making downtown and key tourist areas feel welcoming, attractive and safe, people will be excited to engage in our City’s vibrancy while supporting our local businesses. This collaborative effort is another example of our commitment to doing everything we can to create a more welcoming city and bounce back from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”
Since its soft launch on October 7, 2021, the program has deployed 25 Welcome Ambassadors daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to the locations listed above. The ambassadors’ locations will shift regularly according to need, commuter patterns, special events, visitor arrivals, and the reopening of businesses and offices. As of Friday, October 29, the ambassadors had recorded 92,000 interactions with people.
The Welcome Ambassadors program builds on the success of the cleaning and safety ambassador programs created by Community Benefit Districts in the downtown area. Ambassadors will coordinate with other City safety and cleanliness initiatives including, the SFPD Community Ambassadors and SFPD’s Tourism Deployment Plan to create a safe and welcoming environment for individuals returning to San Francisco’s downtown. The San Francisco Tourism Improvement District is managing the Welcome Ambassadors Program through a grant from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
"We as a city need to do more to help bring life back to downtown. We need to do all we can to make things safer, cleaner, more friendly, and more vibrant. The Downtown Recovery Plan and the launch of more community ambassadors will help us get there," said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney.
“Tourism is San Francisco’s number one industry. With the resumption of international travel to the U.S. on Nov. 8, this program is vitally important to ensure our visitors receive an ‘Only in SF’ welcome. The ambassadors embody San Francisco’s embracing spirit and will help tourists and convention attendees feel safe and cared for when they come here,” said Ike Kwon, California Academy of Science’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Affairs and San Francisco Tourism Association’s Incoming Chair.
"As San Francisco's largest private employer, we are deeply committed to the City and its recovery. It's great to see the renewed energy downtown, as our employees start to come back into our offices," said Michele Schneider, SVP of Real Estate Global Workplace Services at Salesforce. "We are proud to continue supporting the City and are grateful for the Mayor's continued leadership.”
“In Yerba Buena we have the highest concentration of arts and culture west of the Hudson. The City’s incredible arts and cultural attractions draw people from near and far, and we are thrilled to have Welcome Ambassadors in place to help visitors find their way around the city and discover new experiences. They’re not only a sign of investment for our city’s recovery, but also an investment in our visitors and residents – it is proof that San Francisco values you and wants you to feel safe and cared for so you can enjoy your time in the City,” said Monetta White, Executive Director of the Museum of the African Diaspora.
For more information on San Francisco Welcome Ambassador program, visit www.sftid.org.