Lonely Planet Travel Guides Now Available In Korean And Japanese

Global travel publisher Lonely Planet today announced new publishing initiatives in two of its key markets, Korea and Japan. These new ventures mark Lonely Planet’s first foray into Asian language publishing under the Lonely Planet brand name.

Lonely Planet has partnered with two high profile and dynamic companies Ahn Graphics in Korea and Media Factory in Japan to translate and publish a range of Lonely Planet travel guides.

A specialist team based in Lonely Planet’s international headquarters in Melbourne has been responsible for the entire project from identifying appropriate partners to reviewing final manuscripts.

‘Looking ahead, both Japan and Korea represent two key growth markets for Lonely Planet products. These alliances are long-term, strategic and broadranging’, says Judy Slatyer CEO. ‘It is all about providing compelling, comprehensive and trustworthy travel information for our customers wherever they are. Working with local partners will ensure that we have the best product on offer in these markets.’

The Lonely Planet Korean-language editions were officially launched yesterday at the KOTFA World Travel Fair 2003 held this week in Seoul.

Lonely Planet co-founder and director Tony Wheeler, who is in Seoul for the official launching said, ‘There has been a shift in outbound travel behaviour in both markets in recent years. Independent travel is becoming more popular for Korean and Japanese travellers, and not surprisingly there is a corresponding increasing demand for comprehensive travel information written for such travellers. This is a wonderful opportunity for Lonely Planet’, said Wheeler.

The Lonely Planet Japanese editions will be released on June 25 ahead of the peak summer holiday period in Japan.

Also in the pipeline for Lonely Planet are Korean- and Japanese-language Lonely Planet websites, plans to syndicate digital content and develop B2B initiatives in these markets.

‘For each market we have an holistic strategy which will enable us to use our print products as a springboard for Lonely Planet’s expansion via other channels in these markets. We’re looking forward to harnessing new B2B opportunities both in Korea and Japan’, says Slatyer.

Both publishing strategies will remain true to Lonely Planet’s ethos of publishing travel guides to a range of destinations from ever-popular cities such as Paris and New York City to off-the-beaten track places such as Vietnam and Turkey.

Ahn Graphics will publish titles from Lonely Planet’s country and city guide series, Condensed series, World Food series and phrasebooks, while Media Factory’s publishing list will focus on establishing a solid Lonely Planet travel guide list in Japanese.

‘Both companies have an enviable reputation in their market. This, combined with the strength of the Lonely Planet brand, puts us in an ideal position to maximise growth for Lonely Planet across all channels in these markets’, says Slatyer.

Originally established as a design studio in 1985, Ahn Graphics grew rapidly to become the dynamic multimedia and publishing house that it is today. In addition to publishing several best-sellers, they also boast a stable of major corporate clients in the advertising, custom-publishing and website development fields.

Media Factory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Recruit, a major corporate entity in Japan with interests in several sectors including information publishing (both print and online), marketing services and recruitment. Recruit publishes AB-ROAD, Japan’s highest-selling travel magazine and operates one of Japan’s largest travel websites, www.ab-road.net.

Media Factory’s diverse business interests in the multimedia field include book and magazine publishing, film and animation, and character merchandising.

Including English, Lonely Planet travel guides are now available in 17 languages.