Guidebook brand readies major revamp
Sunday 27 February 2011
Guidebook publisher Lonely Planet is to relaunch its guides from next month, with some major changes to the books' format and content.
As of March, all new Lonely Planet guides will feature the new design, which the brand says has been made in response to a massive consultation effort involving thousands of travelers.
Among the changes will be a two-color layout, designed to make it easier to read and scan the guides, alongside more graphics, with more important sites in some books being given their own illustrated features.
The most popular titles, beginning with France and Spain, will be published in a new full color design, putting them in direct competition with guides such as DK's Eyewitness which have always been published in full color.
The books' structure has also been revamped to offer a "more intuitive layout," and the planning tools offered with each copy have been altered to help travelers plan by time, season, interest or region.
The first 14 redesigned books to be offered will be Bali & Lombok, Bhutan, Canada, Croatia, England, France, Los Angeles, San Diego & Southern California, New England, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Taiwan, Tibet and Turkey, all in English - although a spokesperson told Relaxnews that foreign titles will also be transitioned over to the new design on a different timescale.
Lonely Planet is the world's best-selling guidebook publisher and more than 100 million of its guides have been printed around the globe.
It has diversified rapidly during the past decade to offer its guides as apps and e-books in the face of intense competition from free guides readily available online, as well as other brands such as Rough Guides.
On February 18, the commercial arm of the BBC announced that it had purchased the remaining 25 percent stake of Lonely Planet which it didn't already own, leaving the guidebook brand now wholly owned by the world's largest broadcaster.
Last year, the corporation integrated a significant amount of content from Lonely Planet into its website, launching a new travel section featuring destination guides and other articles at http://www.bbc.com/travel (not available in the UK).
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