The beauty of the U.P. is becoming more widely known.

An annual conference is held to keep the industry thriving. Held at a casino but not gambling on the future of tourism in the U.P. is the Uppertunities Tourism Conference. Keeping businesses in the tourism industry up to date on the latest information, techniques and technology available to help them enhance their business is the goal.

“What is interesting is that there are some counties in the Upper Peninsula that have more than 50% of their employment from tourism. So we have some very tourism dependent counties in the Upper Peninsula which tells us that this is an important region to draw in visitors from around the world,” said David West, V.P. Travel, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Kathy Reynolds, Executive Director, Alger County Chamber of Commerce add that “The U.P. is becoming more popular with tourists all over the United States and internationally so we are trying to keep ahead of the game which is continually a challenge and trying to serve everybody best.”

Along with vendors and interactive displays, the conference consisted of seminars on marketing, social media tactics and the economics of tourism.

“I think the conference is a good thing, it gets attractions and businesses introduced to tourism, it’s an opportunity to get together and share stories, opportunities, ideas and promotion for the future, so it’s good to get together with everybody and go over those items,” said John Madigan, Pictured Rock Cruisers.

Conference attendees were also treated to a pre-screening of the new “Pure Michigan” TV ad.