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BBC Buys Lonely Planet

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BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has bought the travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet.
11 years ago, October 1st 2007 No: 1 Msg: #20285  
B Posts: 5,187

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has bought the travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet.

Lonely Planet, founded by husband and wife team Tony and Maureen Wheeler in 1972, publishes around 500 titles that are widely used by backpackers.


BBC Buys Lonely Planet

Heads up!

Wow - that's big news - Lonely Planet (despite some rubbish guide books and admittedly some good ones) - are the biggest player in the guide book scene.

The amount is undisclosed - probably $30 million plus - my estimate only. (Added: "Telegraph" (UK): BBC 75%!f(MISSING)or $140million)

What this means for backpackers and also the massive amount of potential promotion the BBC can give to them is anyone's guess at the moment. Some speculation involves Lonely Planet TV, and all the BBC travel content shown on it - Michael Palin... travelling everywhere.
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11 years ago, October 1st 2007 No: 2 Msg: #20287  
Wow, Im suprised by this news. I didnt think they would sell those books. I wonder what will happen now. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 1st 2007 No: 3 Msg: #20297  
Looks like Tony Wheeler finally sold out.

Interesting as well, since Michael Palin has regularly endorsed the 'Footprint' range.

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11 years ago, October 1st 2007 No: 4 Msg: #20299  
Did anyone see this coming?! I had no idea the BBC would be interested in entering into such a massive enterprise.

Perhaps this might mean the BBC will bring us more travel on television. With so many freeview channels it would be fantastic to have one dedicated to travel, especially with the big switchover to digital making all the channels available to everyone (well, everyone who switches over..).

Although, my cynical side says this is just the BBC putting another finger into another pie..the Lonely Planet series surely make big bucks. Even so, the BBC have always brought us some fantastic travel/geographical/natural science/natural history books, (if few and far between) so perhaps I shouldn't be quite so cynical!

...and hey, I'm really enjoying Michael Palin's New Europe, I just hope Eastern Europe doesn't get the "Palin Effect" before I get there to enjoy it in all its unspoiled glory!!! Reply to this

11 years ago, October 1st 2007 No: 5 Msg: #20307  
B Posts: 71
Wow big news!!!

I have long been a Lonely Planet user for reasons of thoroughlly researched guides. Sure sometimes the maps are a little off and some info not quite right but its been a big part of my travels over the years. However, now that the BBC (Who is a huge corperation who wants more money) has bought them I wonder what will become of them.. I would hate to think that they limit the amount of research and effort going to into books for sake of saving money and raise profits. That could only lower the quality of the books and I would then have to start using another brand.. I guess I need to get the whole story. Does anyone know if they have sold the entire company or just a portion of it?? What is Tony's thoughts?? Will be an interesting story to follow... Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2007 No: 6 Msg: #20308  
B Posts: 109
Well i suppose it is good and bad. anyone who starts a large company may dream of selling it for big bucks one day and using the money to retire and live large. They are obviously big travellers (dah) and will probably be very happy to use the money to travel around ( I am assuming, or if they did enough travelling for work, sit still somewhere for a while!)

The sad thing is that it was a big australian enterprise (originally) though they are from England they lived here in australia and raised kids here. As with lots of things Australian they get sold overseas as noone here wants to buy them (companies) or cant afford to buy them. This happens ALOT in Australia, very few things here are actually Australian owned.

I hope it all works out well in the end. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2007 No: 7 Msg: #20312  
Well, Tony I guess till owns a certain stake of the company just not the majority so I wonder how that will affect things. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2007 No: 8 Msg: #20315  
According to the "Telegraph" (UK) the BBC bought a 75 percent stake in Lonely Planet for Seventy Million Pounds.

Not dollars, not euros, but POUNDS. Wow. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2007 No: 9 Msg: #20317  
B Posts: 5,187
70million GBP - $140 million - I was way off the mark 😉 - but yes I can believe that figure easily. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2007 No: 10 Msg: #20319  
B Posts: 109
It would be interesting to find out if they (wheelers) have any other projects in the pipeline.

Also I think that perhaps lonely planet is getting so big maybe they needed to pass it onto a global company? it isnt exactly the small company they started years ago Reply to this

11 years ago, October 3rd 2007 No: 11 Msg: #20373  
Interesting. I'm not convinced its a good thing. Though it might open up a new market for a niche backpacker bible. The LP stopped becoming that some time ago and I'm intrigued that it still gets used by budget travellers/backpackers and more affulent travellers alike. Ah well - won't feel so bad about buying those Vietnamese photocopy rip offs now!! Reply to this

11 years ago, October 3rd 2007 No: 12 Msg: #20411  
Well i imagine it was inevitable really, like google bought youtube and microsoft are looking to buy a share in facebook, you get so big that a bigger company gets interested and the money on the table is too tempting😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, October 4th 2007 No: 13 Msg: #20448  
cheap deal...i thought lonely plant was worth more.. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 4th 2007 No: 14 Msg: #20451  
The Lonely Planet's "Book of Cities" is absolutely superb, and perfect for both planning trips, and calming the travel bug just after them. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 10th 2007 No: 15 Msg: #20704  
Not a good thing. The big guys control more and more! Ali has BBC made you an offer? Reply to this

11 years ago, November 5th 2007 No: 16 Msg: #22046  
Mind you, the way forward for many is less print media and more online. Maybe BBC's plans are moving that way. As Murdoch has indicated with his latest move, more and more of us are preferring to go online for info. Check out our baby portalif you are ever heading for Tuscany... Happy travels!!
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7 years ago, November 11th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #146784  

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