DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH, GA – A dozen people who call Savannah the place they live, work and play now are taking to the streets to help others who visit the city.
“This would be an awesome opportunity to display what I know about this great city to people who may not know and also provide a sense of safety and a sense of awareness to people that may not feel that way,” says ambassador McKinley Sartin who joins eleven people in the inaugural Savannah Serves pilot program.
Sartin has a background in marketing. For him this program is something Savannah needs in order to better its appearance to a booming tourism industry.
“I think Savannah’s visitor industry has grown exponentially over the last couple of years and this type of service is something that is seen in other larger cities and Savannah is just now moving forward in doing something like that to meet the demand that we currently have,” says Tourism Management and Ambassadorship department director Bridget Lidy.
Besides giving directions and advice for shopping or eating, Sartin like the other ambassadors is trained to monitor public safety risks in Savannah’s downtown area. Issues like safety are just one of the many Sartin wants to use the occupation to address.
“I’ve already made up in my mind that I want to eventually veer into finding out what I can do to help change this homeless situation,” he says.
The Savannah serves program is a city launched initiative that has brought in people with hospitality backgrounds. Aiding tourists, monitoring crime risks and upkeep of the downtown area will now be their job moving forward to improve the Savannah experience for visitors and those who live and work here.
“It’s going to be able to showcase how we as a city want to do better and how we want to see positive change in the community,” says Sartin.
The ambassadors officially begin their work this Wednesday.