Lonely Planet

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Lonely Planet is a company best-known for publishing travel guidebooks. It was founded in 1972 by Tony and Maureen Wheeler following good sales of their first title, Across Asia on the Cheap. Today the company runs travel-related websites and a television station as well as continuing to publish new and updated guidebooks. It has been 75% owned by BBC Worldwide since October 2007.

Lonely Planet hit controversy in April 2008, when a former writer for the series claimed that he had never travelled to areas he had written about. Passages on Colombia were actually written in the USA, using personal informants, and sections on other South American and Caribbean countries were plagiarised. Thomas Kohnstamm also said he had contravened company policy by accepting free services, and had included a favourable review of a restaurant which was actually a cryptic reference to an after-hours experience with a member of its waiting staff. Kohnstamm blamed poor pay for his activities, and other writers also stated that Lonely Planet's pay scheme was inadequate. The company itself insisted that its books were accurate and its payments among the best in the industry; no inaccuracies had been found despite Kohnstamm's claims.[1][2]


  1. Daily Telegraph: 'Lonely Planet's bad trip'. 13th April 2008.
  2. BBC News: 'Lonely Planet rebuts 'fake' claim'. 14th April 2008.

See also