MORE AND MORE, Matador is partnering with leading Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) in order to get the most talented journalists and content creators in our network into awesome destinations, both in the US and abroad, and to publish the best digital storytelling on the Web.

Last year we partnered with the Canadian Tourism Commission, and the results in terms of unique visits to the content, social engagement, and CTC content getting picked up by other major media outlets proved again that our model works.

In 2013, we’re signing major partnerships with over a dozen consumer brands, tour operators, and destinations. This year, there’s a big focus on our Ambassador team. This group of photographers, filmmakers, artists, and athletes are some of the most sought-after digital storytellers of our generation. We’re stoked to partner with Tourism Queensland to get five of them out into the field and telling authentic travel stories about this part of Australia and its people.

It’s important to note that Matador and our partners are committed to 100% transparency with our readers. Any content that was created with a budget is branded as such. Beyond that, we’re proud to feature and help promote Queensland, because quite frankly, we think this place kicks ass.

Not all destinations are a great fit for Matador. Our readers and members enjoy wild, remote places, natural wonders, adventure sports, authentic culture, and a healthy dose of good eating and nightlife along the way. Like Canada, Queensland is a perfect fit for our audience. With rich Aboriginal culture, remote Outback adventures, world-class diving, trekking, kayaking, and surfing, and rainforests that come right down to the coast, Queensland is the sort of place that occupies the top of our list as Matador travelers.

Equally important for us is to find DMO partners who understand our POV at Matador and how travel journalism is changing. Over the last three years, we’ve found that choosing the most talented storytellers and giving them as much freedom in the field as possible yields the best content.

Matador as a company is mapping the intersection of travel journalism and destination marketing, and striving to encourage DMOs to step out of their comfort zones, to trade big group “blogger trips” for more independent itineraries where the journalist actually experiences the destination as her reader would. This means no ‘handler,’ avoiding over-planned itineraries, and putting more trust and responsibility in the hands of the journalist to navigate the country on her own, arrive on time to points or people of interest, and deliver the highest quality of content both during and after the trip.

Our partnership with Queensland should be exciting for our readers for two reasons. First, we’re sending five of our most talented Ambassadors into the field to document everything from Aboriginal legends to scuba diving with Minke whales and whitetip reef sharks. Prepare to be amazed.

Second, we’ll be sending one of our talented readers on an all-expenses-paid, 10-day trip to Queensland as our 6th Matador correspondent through the #travelstoke #queensland campaign. Keep up with Matador in the coming weeks for more regarding this contest, and stay on the lookout on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the #travelstoke #queensland hashtags.

Happy travels, and we’ll see you in QLD!