Column: Upper Peninsula Tourism Conference

ESCANABA — Would you like to have the opportunity to meet with the top executive at a hugely successful global marketing brand? If you are in business or working at an organization that has some element of marketing to it, the answer is likely yes. We all have this chance at the Uppertunities Tourism Conference hosted at the Island Convention Center in Harris, Mich., later this month. Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan will be a keynote speaker and provide attendees with valuable updates on the Pure Michigan campaign and the strategies that are being implemented to bring more visitors to our state. The Pure Michigan brand is amazing, and their annual updates are my favorite part of the conference.

One of the special updates we will get this year is on the enhanced marketing campaign for the Upper Peninsula through Pure Michigan. A Hollywood level film crew spent time here over the past year capturing amazing views and experiences in the U.P. These images have been used to launch a nationwide television marketing campaign promoting the U.P. to travelers across the country and around the world. You can watch the video on YouTube by searching Michigan’s Upper Peninsula | Heart Rate | Pure Michigan. It captures the relaxation and the excitement that await visitors in the Upper Peninsula.

While Pure Michigan is the brand that is used to market our area in the ads, this campaign would not be possible without the financial support of the Hannahville Indian Community who has committed $500,000 to drive this amazing message out to the masses. Dave Lorenz will be talking about this campaign and other strategies that makes Pure Michigan one of the top global tourism marketing brands at the Uppertunities conference.

Tourism in the Upper Peninsula has been growing and many local experts are playing a significant role in this success. Bringing this group together once a year gives them a chance to network and brainstorm ideas for the future. This is also a chance for you to connect with them and discuss how your business or organization can fit into this thriving industry. One of the greatest values you will get from an event like this is to discuss and learn from the experts. If you are an expert, attend to share your experience with others and help raise the tide of tourism in the U.P.

The tourism industry bolsters the local economy and helps local talent maximize their lifetime of earning potential. According to a report by the U.S. Travel Association, Americans whose first job was in travel went on to earn a maximum average salary of $82,400 by the time they were 50 years old — higher than workers whose first jobs were in manufacturing, health care, and most other industries. Of the 6.1 million Americans working part time while pursuing higher education in 2018, more than half were employed in travel-related industries. Tourism not only injects money into the local economy, but it provides our local talent with skills that will help them throughout their lifetime.

I look forward to attending the Uppertunities Tourism Conference this year on May 21st and I hope you can attend as well if you are interested in this industry. There will be a lot of opportunity and knowledge in one place and it will surely help you advance your business and your career.

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Robert Micheau is executive director of Visit Escanaba


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