City of Savannah searching for ambassadors

City of Savannah searching for ambassadors

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Have what it takes to be an ambassador for the City of Savannah?

This week, you can apply to be a full-time ambassador for the Savannah Serves Pilot Program.

They're looking for energetic, hard-working, personable candidates who can help create a welcoming and safe environment for all who frequent the downtown area.

From Liberty Street north to River Street, you can expect to see the uniformed ambassadors as they work zones assisting not only tourists, but also people who live and work here.

The Savannah Ambassador Pilot Program is a condensed version of the Tourism Leadership Council's Savannah Serves initiative.

The TLC organized trips to Atlanta to look at similar ambassador programs to get ideas for a program tailored to Savannah's needs.

"Originally we were looking at a much larger number, larger number of ambassadors as well as a green team, which would be focusing on cleanliness and maintenance, as well as a blue team, which would be focusing on security," said Director of Tourism Management and Ambassadorship Bridgette Lidy.

Lidy says the original number of 40 to 50 ambassadors has been pared down to 10 to 12 for a 12-week pilot program.

"The ambassadors will be out there serving as additional eyes and ears for the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department. They will also be doing light litter pick up, as well as well as interacting with residents and visitors in the downtown area," said Lidy.

While some business owners said they're not opposed to extra hired help guiding and assisting tourists. Others questioned the need, pointing out they offer similar services while running their business.

"I don't think that light litter pick up and calling the police if they see a problem is going to really help. I mean, these people, they're not going to be a police officers, they're just going to be somebody that calls the police officers. I feel like there are enough people out there that can do that now for free," said William Hunter, River Street business operator.

The ambassadors will be full-time employees, making $15.61 an hour over the 12-week period with funds from the city Tourism Management and Ambassadorship budget.

At the end of the 12 weeks, the city will look at the effectiveness of the program. If the feedback is good, it could potentially extend another 12 weeks, if not longer.

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