The Downtown Ambassador Program is a two-year investment funded by Mayor Breed to help welcome workers and visitors back to downtown and to several key tourism destinations. The program will officially be called the San Francisco Welcome Ambassadors.

The San Francisco Tourism Improvement District will oversee the grant and have contracted with Block by Block to staff the program. The ambassadors will begin work ahead of Fleet Week, and will have a presence at the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, Chinatown, parts of North Beach, Market Street, Moscone Center, East Cut, Union Square, Cable Car turnarounds, and major transit hubs.

FAQs

What will their main duties be?

Welcome Ambassadors will provide a friendly welcome to visitors and commuters/workers returning to the office. They will offer directions and wayfinding, transit questions, or answer general questions about key tourist attractions (e.g. museums, restaurants, and/or shopping in the area). The Welcome Ambassadors will be expected to help create a clean and safe environment for visitors and workers by reporting negative street behavior, such as littering and public urination/defecation to appropriate parties. Ambassadors will be trained on how to report or connect the individuals to services through 311 or other supportive services. Ambassadors will coordinate with community benefit districts (CBDs), where available, on how best to interact and report incidents. In areas without a CBD, Special Response Ambassadors, who have been trained on de-escalation and first aid, will be deployed to support our Welcome Ambassadors.

What is the schedule for the Welcome Ambassadors?

The SF Welcome Ambassadors roll-out begins on October 7th, just in time for Fleet Week. For the first phase (a 30-day period) 25-30 Ambassadors will be on duty 7 days a week with a varied schedule. Most of the coverage is from 10:30am-8:30pm with some coverage in the early weekday mornings at transit hubs to welcome commuters. The schedule and locations will change depending on events and activities occurring within in neighborhood.

Phased Roll Out

With variables such as the Delta variant, slow “return to the office” numbers, and the just-announced ability for European tourists to travel to the US beginning in November, the deployment will change as we see the pedestrian activity change. Therefore, there will be flexible deployment as the program is rolled out.

Where will Welcome Ambassadors be located (generally)?

San Francisco Welcome Ambassadors will generally be located at the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, Chinatown, parts of North Beach, Market Street, Moscone, East Cut, Union Square, Cable Car turnarounds, and major transit hubs.

Contact Information

Mandy Hall, San Francisco Tourism Improvement District
Email: mandy@sftid.com
Phone: (415) 871-7078

Rena Leddy, Urban Place Consulting
Email: rena@urbanplaceconsulting.com
Phone: (310) 600-3247