Guidebook brand heads for India
Wednesday 02 February 2011
Lonely Planet, the world's largest guidebook brand, is to move into India, the firm announced January 31.
The ubiquitous guidebook publisher is set to begin operations in India within the next 12 months in a bid to appeal to Indian travelers - one of the fastest growing groups on the planet.
Lonely Planet said in a statement that it will use Indian authors to develop both print and digital content, which includes its large website and successful series of iPhone and Android apps.
Although English-language editions of Lonely Planet guidebooks have been available in India for decades, the firm's CEO Matt Goldberg said that they "don't necessarily take into account the way Indians travel internationally and domestically."
The decision to set up operations in India reflects the enormous boom expected in the country's travel market - some 50 million international trips are expected to be taken every year by 2020.
The announcement comes less than a year after the launch of Lonely Planet's first Chinese guidebook last May, which was written and produced by local authors.
The firm said that sales in China, which is expected to see some 57 million international trips this year, have "exceeded expectations," and a spokesperson told Relaxnews that it has shown the importance of targeting local markets with specifically tailored products.
Last year, Lonely Planet's rival Dorling Kindersley told the Indo-Asian News Service that it planned to expand its digital product offering, before becoming more "India-specific" by 2012.
The report said that DK India plans to launch five travel titles this year; "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Looking for the Perfect Beach Gateway," "Off the Tourism Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives," "Back Roads Italy" and "Bed in a Tree."
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