June 13, 2018 - San Francisco Travel is not waiting for the next tweet to drop or anything else that might detract from the city’s appeal to visitors. The destination marketing organization has taken an unusual approach in launching the second phase - www.sftravel.com/iamsf - in its initiative to let international visitors know that all people are always welcome here.
“Our first phase (www.sftravel.com/article/youre-always-welcome-here) addressed the visitor directly to assure them that, no matter where they come from or how they live, they are always welcome here. We wanted to distance ourselves from the rhetoric coming out of the capital,” said San Francisco Travel Association President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “Phase two is from the local’s perspective, presenting why San Francisco is the place for them and, by extension, for everyone.”
The latest platform to showcase San Francisco as a diverse and welcoming destination is titled “I Am San Francisco,” an online series sharing the stories of both natives of the city and those who came to visit and found a home.
The first nine profiles cover a diverse human landscape of race, gender, age, economics and orientation, including a cable car grip man, a Summer of Love historian, a Muslim tech worker, female entrepreneurs/pop-up chefs, executives, artists, a transgender person, etc.
Each person’s story is told in photos, video, text and audio. And each ends with the person telling the viewer, “I am San Francisco and you are always welcome.”
“We wanted to tell stories that are real and authentically San Francisco,” D’Alessandro said. “This is what San Francisco is all about – not just acknowledging diversity but celebrating and defending it around the world.”
“I Am San Francisco” was developed in partnership with Brenton Gieser and Felix Uribe, creators of the Tender Souls Project, a photo documentary project that began by uncovering the humanity and complexities of the Tenderloin, a neighborhood in the dead center of the innovation capital of the world.
“Brenton and Felix captured our attention with their stories of the Tenderloin, a neighborhood where disenfranchised, lost souls live in San Francisco. Their photos show a sensitivity and humanity not seen in the kind of content we usually create. Their storytelling abilities gave locals a voice in welcoming people,” D’Alessandro explained.
Gieser, Uribe and San Francisco Travel created an unconventional partnership and worked together to find just the right people to feature, people who were willing to go on the record about what San Francisco means to them.
The first three profiles – of rock and roll historian/author Dennis McNally, pop up restauranteurs B.L.U.D. and cable car grip man Ellis Cato – debuted on June 12, 2018 at www.sftravel.com/iamsf. A new feature will be added weekly for a total of nine.
The “I Am San Francisco” series is a companion to a video launched in early 2017 at www.sftravel.com/always-welcome. The video is available in English and Spanish and was promoted in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its popularity is reflected in the fact that it was viewed on San Francisco Travel’s Facebook page more than 167,000 times between May 2017 and March 2018. It has been seen on You Tube more than 5,000 times.
The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sftravel.com, read The San Francisco Traveler or call 415-391-2000.
San Francisco Travel operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets, and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square. San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.
American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop service by 41 international carriers serving 49 international cities and connects non-stop with 83 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo.
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The San Francisco Travel Photo Video Library is available at http://sftravel.photoshelter.com/index.