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NMU helps U.P. communities practice "sustainable tourism"

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Northern Michigan University is holding workshops for Upper Peninsula communities on how to practice sustainable tourism.

Outdoor destination travel is growing in northern Michigan, with Marquette County bringing in about $75 million each year.

But NMU Assistant Professor Scott Jordan says some rural communities feel exploited.

"One way to address that is to involve community members in making decisions about the tourism economy. That gives them a sense of power," he says.

Jordan says at one workshop in Marquette participants talked about side effects of tourism, including leftover trash and snowmobile noise.

So far NMU has hosted workshops in Marquette, Munising and Grand Marais. They plan to expand the program to the rest of the U.P.