From guidebooks to digital platform
Lonely Planet sells more travel guidebooks than any other publisher on earth, but technology is changing the market. Travelers are turning to online services instead. Lonely Planet saw the market changing, and began work on plans to alter their online presence. But not just improve it – with the assistance of BBC Worldwide, Lonely Planet put together a vision to transform itself from primarily print-based to a brand-new digital media business.
With our help, the company’s vast library of travel content is being made available online, complemented by a trove of related BBC video and images. It will be one-stop-shopping, with the addition of trip planning, traveler forums and bookings; and will bring the iconic Lonely Planet brand to consumers and businesses by mobile phones, PDAs, personal navigators and other channels.
Traffic rose 20% to 30% in the targeted US and UK markets after the new site launched in November 2008. It has already won several awards, including a Webby. True to the vision, it’s not “just a website” but a complete print-to-digital platform for all of Lonely Planet’s content, and a base for brand-new revenue streams as well. Revenue now will flow not only from print sales and online ads but also from bookings and licensees – in ways limited only by the imagination as Lonely Planet and its partners look to the future.