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Lonely Planet blog

Behind the scenes

Introducing our new local Chinese guides

By admin   21 May 2010 6:00pm Europe/London

Yunnan

Lonely Planet is proud to announce the launch of a new guidebook series – produced in Chinese by Chinese authors for domestic Chinese travellers.

Today, Lonely Planet guidebooks are the most popular series in China for international destinations, with close to 50 titles available in Chinese. We cover Europe, the USA and Southeast Asia, as well as new and emerging destinations for Chinese travellers, such as Turkey, the Maldives and South America.

Since we started working with SDX, our partners in China, we have served over half a million Chinese travellers with our international guides. But the vast majority of travel in China is domestic and we knew we had a big opportunity to introduce Chinese travellers to their own country in new and interesting ways.

Our first destination: Yúnnán Province

Why did we choose Yúnnán as our first guide? You only have to read the beautifully written text by our local authors to understand the reason.

Yúnnán – China’s sixth-largest province – has become the second-most cited ‘dream destination’ for Chinese travellers.

More than half of China’s ethnic minority groups reside here, providing an extraordinary glimpse into China’s mixture of humanity.

Then there’s the natural splendour of the land – thick jungle sliced by the Mekong River in the south, soul-recharging glimpses of the sun over rice terraces in the central and southeastern regions, and the rising shoulders of the Himalayan frontier.

The province is also home to the nation’s highest number of species of flora and fauna, including 2500 varieties of wildflowers and plants.

In one week you can sweat in the tropics and freeze in the Himalaya and in between check out towns that time forgot.

So, whatever time you’ve given yourself in Yúnnán, when doing your planning, double it. Trust us on this one.

Our philosophy

Trust is a big ask, and we call for it time after time through our authors.

Being trustworthy and informative is fundamental to our editorial approach. We have very high expectations of our authors. It’s not enough for a writer to visit a destination and simply document lists of sites and local facts.

Our distinctive Lonely Planet style calls for rigorous research, deep thought and opinions to be expressed in a friendly, personal and sometimes humorous way.  Our editorial opinions are never influenced by free offers or paid advertising. Our authors are passionate travellers, have the courage to develop their own opinions, as well as presenting the facts, and confidently share these with other travellers.

We needed to bring this disciplined approach to our new Chinese guides. I must congratulate our partners, SDX, whose team of local commissioning editors and authors have absolutely risen to the challenge and high standards we have set to work with us. Their incredible commitment and passion will shine through as we continue to release more provincial guides together.

We are honoured to have a partner like SDX to create a guidebook series that will empower more and more Chinese people to explore the land they call home and love. We see this as part of our mission to empower travellers everywhere to get to the heart of a place.

Matt Goldberg is the CEO of Lonely Planet.