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March 2021 Salem Tourism Stars

Longboards Employee

This year, we’re sharing the people and places that make Salem Salem; the shopkeepers, housekeepers, cooks, tour guides, maintenance, museum greeters, restaurant servers, and more! Join us on Instagram each week as we share a new tourism star each #TourismStarTuesday, and be sure to share your experiences when you meet someone who makes your visit to Salem, Massachusetts special by tagging us (@destsalem) and #SalemTourismStar in your posts!

Tara Upshaw, Kitchen Manager at Longboards

Tara Upshaw, kitchen manager from Longboards and her husband are part of the Longboards team, and during the pandemic Tara has been pulling double duty working alongside her Longboards family while teaching her two children at home. Longboards’ owner Justin Mattera shares that Tara is a valuable part of the team who enjoys working at this locals’ favorite restaurant on Pickering Wharf, saying that “Having a small place like ours makes everyone family, not just an employee.”

James Morfis-Gass, Guide at the Salem Trolley

James shared some of what he believes makes working in Salem special in his own words: “When I started working for the Salem Trolley back in 2013, I learned that the most interesting people in the world come to Salem. I get to show them around, and who doesn’t love to brag about their hometown? I’ve met people who have visited Salem regularly, and it always makes me proud to be part of this diverse, welcoming, and supportive city. With fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and an amazing community, Salem just feels different, and I’m always excited to share that feeling with tourists and locals alike.”

Karen Scalia, Owner of Salem Food Tours

Karen has worked through the challenges of the past year by updating her business to meet the needs of Salem residents and visitors while spreading some extra cheer along the way. ⠀

When COVID-19 brought temporary business closures last year, Salem Food Tours helped local restaurants by delivering food around town. During the holidays Karen along with her husband Mark teamed up with Mrs. Claus and Relph the Elf to bring physically distant holiday fun to local families (and helped us launch the Salem Skipper!)⠀

For Easter, Salem Food Tours once again booked Easter bunny visits around town, complete with chocolates and Easter candies from local sweet shops like Kakawa Chocolate House, Harbor Sweets, and Ye Olde Pepper Companie.

Andrew Muttiah, Front Desk and Houseman at the Hampton Inn Salem

In his own words, Andrew shared: “I am from Colombo, Sri Lanka. I moved to Salem in 2017 to begin my higher education at Salem State University to study Hospitality Management. I moved here by myself and had to learn and adjust to the different culture and way of life. Living in Salem has been an amazing experience since I have been able to meet people from all around the world.

When I started working at the Hampton Inn in August of 2020, it was a completely new start for me as it was my first step into the Hospitality industry, and I have enjoyed every part of it. From working at the desk, to being a houseman and also helping out with the pool, the Hampton Inn has helped me excel as an individual and learn more about the Hotel industry.”⠀

Gabe from Finz Seafood & Grill

Gabe shared with us: “I grew up in a coastal town just north of Boston, so being able to come to work everyday on the ocean front in a town as rich in history as Salem is pretty nostalgic. The fact that Salem has such a diverse food scene and always has something going on at all times of the year, makes it a fun place to work and a great place to visit.”⠀

Have you met a local tourism star? Tag us and use #SalemTourismStar to share the people who made your visit to Salem a memorable one. ⠀

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