A new project with the National Geographic Society is causing some excitement among promoters of tourism in northwestern Ontario and Minnesota.

The Heart of the Continent Partnership will pay National Geographic close to $200,000 to host an interactive website featuring the region.

Frank Jewell

Northwestern Ontario tourism promoters like Frank Jewell are excited about an upcoming website venture with National Geographic. (Supplied)

Partnership steering committee chairperson Frank Jewell said the website will make use of the magazine's international presence to reach new markets.

"I think that is a really big thing, because their magazines go out to millions of people," he said. 

"I think it has the opportunity to be a real great driver for tourism, particularly, reaching out to new markets."

Thunder Bay and Duluth are among the bigger contributors to the project, he added.

He said he hopes to sign a contract with National Geographic this month.

The Heart of the Continent Partnership has been around since 2007. There are close to 80 organizations involved including Thunder Bay, Atikokan, Duluth, Ontario Parks and tourist outfitters.

The interactive National Geographic website will showcase places to visit, stay, and eat. As the website is developed, there will be maps and mobile apps that people can download.

The partnership is now fundraising for the project, as it's going to cost about $260,000. Close to $200,000 of that goes to National Geographic.