By Maria Wyllie
Explore Big Sky Associate Editor

HELENA – The Montana Office of Tourism has partnered with National Geographic in the second year of its “Step Out of Bounds” summer marketing campaign, resulting in new opportunities to promote Montana.

The partnership includes a package deal with traditional advertising in the National Geographic travel magazine, and includes a digital element called “Where the Locals Go,” which has extended Montana’s domestic and international reach, according to Daniel Iverson, Public Affairs Officer for the Montana Office of Tourism.

“The part that was new and exciting was that…this is a hub that features all kinds of articles and destinations in Montana, and features particularly some of the lesser known attractions we have,” Iverson said.

Montana is the first U.S. destination to be featured on the new online blog, which blends seasonal content written by local experts with articles, photos, and an interactive map of the state.

“It was a really good opportunity for us in large part because of National Geographic’s reach,” Iverson said.

The site reaches more than 26 million unique global visitors per month.

Jeri Duran, Administrator of the Montana Office of Tourism, said the partnership supports the office’s mission to drive visitation and generate new money for Montana’s economy, according to a Montana Office of Tourism press release.

“National Geographic is an internationally respected brand whose audience is a perfect match for the geotraveler profile we market to,” Duran said.

Although the blog’s online reach is huge for Montana, Iverson says the real goal is to have those views translate into trips to Montana – something he says they won’t be able to gauge until a bit further down the road.

To view the blog, visit nationalgeographic.com/travel/local-montana.