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Encyclopedia > Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet logo
Lonely Planet logo

Lonely Planet Publications (usually known as Lonely Planet or LP for short) claims to be the largest independently owned travel guidebook publisher in the world. It is probably the most popular series of travel books among backpackers and other low-cost travelers, due to its history of serving this market. As of 2004, it published about 650 titles in 118 countries with annual sales of more than six million guidebooks, about a quarter of all English-language guidebooks. Lonely Planet also has a television production company (Lonely Planet Television), which has produced and developed three series: Lonely Planet Six Degrees, The Sport Traveller, and Vintage New Zealand. Lonely Planet is headquartered in Footscray, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Image File history File links Lonelyplanetlogo. ... The following is a list of travel guides and web sites with substantial international coverage. ... Backpacking is a subculture of generally youthful travellers exploring the planet on a limited budget. ... Lonely Planet Six Degrees is Lonely Planets flagship travel show, hosted by Asha Gill and Toby Amies. ... Footscray is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, named after the English village of Foots Cray. ... Melbournes Yarra River is popular area for walking, jogging, cycling, rowing and for relaxing on the banks with a picnic Melbourne (pronounced either or [1]) is the second most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 3. ...



A recent edition of Lonely Planet's guide to Australia.
A recent edition of Lonely Planet's guide to Australia.

Lonely Planet's first book, Across Asia on the Cheap, was written and published by Tony Wheeler, a former engineer at Chrysler Corp. and Warwick University graduate, and his wife Maureen Wheeler in Sydney in 1973, following a lengthy jaunt across the continent from Turkey, through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan before ending up in India or Nepal. The popularity of the overland route declined when Iran's borders closed in 1979. [1] [2] Written with panache and full of strong opinions, it sold well enough in Australia that it allowed the couple to expand it into South-East Asia on a shoestring, which remains one of the company's biggest sellers. Image File history File links 1740594479. ... Image File history File links 1740594479. ... The Chrysler Corporation was an American automobile manufacturer that existed independently from 1925–1998. ... University of Warwick Motto: Mens agitat molem Logo © University of Warwick The University of Warwick is a world-class campus university which, despite its name, is located mainly inside the southern boundary of Coventry, England, some 11 km ( 7 miles) from the town of Warwick, the remainder of the campus...

Lonely Planet's first books catered to young people from Australasia and Europe (mainly the UK) undertaking the overland hippie trail between Australia and Europe, via South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. This was becoming something of a rite of passage for young travellers, especially Australians and New Zealanders, who spent many months (or years) on the journey. The hippie trail is a term used to describe the journeys taken by hippies in the 1960s and 70s from Europe, overland to and from eastern Asia. ...

Tourist facilities were limited in most of the countries en route, and low-budget tourism was unheard of. This was the first (relatively) large-scale influx of first-worlders who took local buses in Thailand, ate at street stalls in India, or stayed with villagers in Afghanistan. The tips and hints provided by a Lonely Planet's guidebooks were seen as essential to avoid problems and danger.

This coincidence of a new and rapidly growing market and a guidebook company apparently catering exclusively to the traveller community (the term backpacker developed later) meant that Lonely Planet's readers developed a word-of-mouth affection for the company and its products. Reader feedback played an important part in keeping the books updated. Lonely Planet benefited from the Wheelers' skills as writers, publishers and businesspeople. Backpacking is a subculture of generally youthful travellers exploring the planet on a limited budget. ...

The books' voice has changed over the years as it has entered markets, such as Western Europe, where many guidebooks exist. It can be said that the series now caters as much to middle-class travellers as backpackers. As of 2005, the Wheelers no longer control the operation or make decisions about guidebooks, although they still own a majority of the company, and Tony Wheeler still writes some guidebooks.

The increasing professionalism of the management and the attempt to break into the massive United States market (which is relatively conservative and prone to litigation) have meant that the quirky, amateurish (in the best sense) tone of the books has diminished. For example, an early edition of Africa on a shoestring has the heading 'Drugs', which includes information on purchasing drugs (mainly marijuana), while the May 1980 edition of South-East Asia on a Shoestring includes information on how to purchase fake student ID cards. This would not be permitted in a Lonely Planet guidebook today. Other quirks included apparently hand-drawn maps and strong opinions (one book called the apartheid government in South Africa 'cretins' and 'narrow-minded psychotics'). While the maps are now more professionally drawn, the strong opinions remain. This also can be seen in the 2003 edition of its guide of Brazil, where São Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, is served by only a few pages and heavily critised as if it were not worth visiting. A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ... Motto: Non ducor, duco (Latin: I am not led, I lead) Administrative division of the city Country Brazil Region Southeast State São Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab (PFL) Area    - City 1,522. ...

Lonely Planet's initial strength of owning a market has subsequently caused some problems. Even today, many people equate Lonely Planet with backpackers. The company has been attempting to broaden its appeal for many years. The 30th anniversary relaunch of its various series was intended to make clearer the split between the backpacker-only products and those (now the majority) aimed at more affluent travellers and tourists.

Like many companies, Lonely Planet has emphasized the web. In particular, its Thorn Tree web forum has proven a popular place to trade tips and advice, contributing to the brand's identity. Thorn tree is the common name for several species of trees in tropical climates that have spiky, thorn-like leaves with pink polka-dots. ...

The company name comes from a misheard line in "Space Captain," a song by Joe Cocker and Leon Russell. The actual words are "lovely planet" but Tony Wheeler heard "lonely planet" and liked it. Joe Cocker Joe Cocker (born John Robert Cocker, May 20, 1944) is a rock/blues musician. ... Leon Russell A Young Leon Russell Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942 in Lawton, Oklahoma) is a singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist. ...

The founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, have written a book titled "The Lonely Planet Story" and in there, they explain the story of how they would meet and marry, how they would travel from London to Australia overland and how Lonely Planet was formed.

See also

  • Tourism
  • Globe Trekker The television series (also known as Pilot Guides) was inspired by and originally broadcast under the name Lonely Planet
  • Treks in a Wild World television series
  • Signspotting
  • Rory Maclean Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from istanbul to India

Tourists at Oahu island, Hawaii Tourism is the act of travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes, and also refers to the provision of services in support of this act. ... Globe Trekker (also called Pilot Guides outside the United States and originally broadcast as Lonely Planet) is an adventure tourism television series produced by Pilot Productions. ... Signspotting is a relatively new phenomena where signs from around the world are recorded. ... Rory MacLean is a Canadian travel writer living in the UK whose best known works are Stalin’s Nose, a black and surreal travelogue through eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Magic Bus, a history of the Asia Overland hippie trail. ...


  1. ^ (July 20 2006) "Asia's overland route Hit the road, Jack". The Economist.
  2. ^ MacLean, Rory (June 29, 2006). Magic Bus. Viking. ISBN 0-670-91484-3.

External links

  • Official Lonely Planet website
  • "The Parachute Artist" - profile of Lonely Planet and the Wheelers from The New Yorker magazine (April 2005)

The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, criticism, essays, cartoons, poetry, and fiction. ...

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