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About Lonely Planet

The Lonely Planet Story

Tony and Maureen Wheeler

Our editorial independence

At Lonely Planet we tell it like it is, without fear or favour. There's a whole world of amazing sights, hotels, travel companies and gear manufacturers out there - and we want to tell you which ones we think are best. But we never compromise our opinions for commercial gain. If you read something written by a Lonely Planet author, you can guarantee they've been there, had a look for themselves and are telling you what they really think. It's trusted advice from a trusted source.

The Lonely Planet Story

A beat-up old car, a few dollars in the pocket, and a sense of adventure.

That's all Tony and Maureen Wheeler needed for the trip of a lifetime. They met on a park bench in Regent's Park and married a year later. For their honeymoon, they decided to attempt what few people thought possible - crossing Europe and Asia overland, all the way to Australia. It took them several months and all the money they could earn, beg or borrow, but they made it. And at the end of it all, they were flat broke… and couldn't have been happier.

It was too amazing an experience to keep to themselves. Urged on by their friends, they stayed up nights at their kitchen table writing, typing and stapling together their very first travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap.

Within a week they'd sold 1500 copies and Lonely Planet was born. Two years later, their second journey led to South-East Asia on a shoestring, which led to books on Nepal, Australia, Africa, and India, which led to… you get the picture.

Fast-forward over 40 years

Lonely Planet has gone on to become the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 120 million books in eleven different languages. Along with guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet, Lonely Planet also produces a range of gift and reference titles, an award-winning website and magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps.

In 2013 Nashville-based media company, NC2 Media, acquired Lonely Planet from BBC Worldwide. BBC Worldwide had first acquired a share in the company in 2007 before becoming sole owners in 2011.

Today, Lonely Planet has offices in the Australia, UK, USA, India and China with over 400 employees and 200 authors.

Lonely Planet is still driven by the philosophy defined in Across Asia on the Cheap: 'All you've got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!'

Did you know?

Tony Wheeler inspired Lonely Planet to offset all staff and author travel with the carbon offset scheme run by www.climatecare.org