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Best Travel Guide Publisher

Lonely Planet Travel Guides

Tell me about Lonely Planet Guides ...
Newlyweds Tony and Maureen Wheeler were broke when they wrote Across Asia On The Cheap and stapled it together by hand themselves. Forty years later, the company they founded is the largest travel guidebook and digital media publisher in the world and has printed more than 80 million books. The company is still driven by the philosophy of the first book: "All you've got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!"

Lonely Planet now publishes about 500 titles, covering 195 countries. Ten of its guidebooks have sold more than a million copies each. There are 230 country guides, 96 city guides and 62 multi-country guides, plus phrasebooks and activity guides, including Trekking in the Nepal Himalayas and the Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkelling Guide. Other titles include The Travel Book - A Journey Through Every Country In The World, A Year Of Festivals, The Lonely Planet Guide To Travel Writing and the Africa and Asia Healthy Travel Guides. The books are all written by professional writers and journalists and have been translated into seven languages from English. The company also has its own magazine and TV production company.

Tell me more about Lonely Planet Guides …
The guides encourage travellers to take care of the world around them and contain advice on travelling sustainably. The company carbon offsets all its staff and author travel, uses 100% Ancient Forest Friendly paper and requires all its suppliers to adhere to local and international labour standards. In 2006, Tony Wheeler and Rough Guides founder Mark Ellingham launched a joint awareness campaign about the impact of air travel on climate change, using the slogan Fly Less, Stay Longer.

Who are Lonely Planet?
In 1972, for their honeymoon, Tony and Maureen Wheeler crossed Europe and Asia overland and went all the way to Australia. It was an amazing adventure - so they decided to share their experience with others and turn their diaries into a guidebook. They wrote the book at their kitchen table, trimmed it themselves, and took it around bookshops in Sydney. They sold 1,500 copies in a week. Lonely Planet was born. Their second book, South East Asia On A Shoestring, which was written two years later in a backstreet hotel in Singapore, has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and is now in its 13th edition.

Who are Lonely Planet Guides aimed at?
The guides are aimed at the independent, adventurous traveller. They were originally aimed at budget travellers - at a time when low-budget travel was still quite rare - but they have since widened their market and now are designed to suit all pockets.