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      Uppertunities gives opportunities on improving tourism

      For national tourism week. a number of Upper Peninsula businesses were in Marquette Wednesday for the third annual Uppertunities Conference at the Peter White Public Library.

      Businesses were able to build relationship with each other which is vital in spreading the word of what the u.p. has to offer for all visitors alike.

      "The U.P. is the Pure Michigan campaign in a lot of ways. It's all the natural beauty it's the uncongestion of larger cities and bigger metropolis where people are living," said Ken Yarsevich, Travel Michigan.

      Several U.P. business owners are learning what they can do to enhance tourism in their area at the Uppertunities conference.

      It starts with knowing your own story and spreading it.

      "Referral business and I think that's the grass roots approach I recommend people use first. Be loud be proud. Invite people back frequently," said Derek Freund, Constant Contact.

      Once a city or business knows what they have to offer promote it via social media and partnerships with cities outside of the U.P.

      After you have done all the marketing, promoting, another key factor is giving visitors a reason to come back.

      Some say what sets the U.P. aside from anywhere else is the friendliness of the people.

      That's where customer service plays an essential role in making visitors come back as well as dealing with uncomfortable situations.

      "Ground yourself first and listen to the concern because behind that anger there is an unknown expectation. If you can service the unknown expectation you are going to be able to solve the problem," said Stephen Buckabee, B.D.D. Training Associates.

      The conference also had workshops discussing most importantly community development, communication, and collaboration which is essential is spreading the word of why people should visit and vacation in the U.P.