Don’t Let the World Pass You By!

  • 8 September 2005
  • USA

OAKLAND, CA (September 8, 2005) – Today Lonely Planet, global leader in travel publishing, launched a movement to inspire more Americans to get their passport and travel abroad. Fewer than 23% of all Americans currently have a passport.

Designating September as National Passport Month, the company kicked off the month with an event in San Francisco’s Union Square.  Doug McConnell from Bay Area Backroads was the guest host, sharing tales of travel and encouraging others to create some of their own. Free passport photos were taken and passport applications and renewal forms were provided. Lonely Planet experts were on hand to dispense travel advice. Bill Lee, Director of Economic and Tourist Development for the City and County of San Francisco, presented a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaiming September 2005 as National Passport Month in the City and County of San Francisco.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced a resolution (H. Res. 327) to have Congress declare every September National Passport Month. The resolution has received extraordinary bi-partisan support and has quickly garnered 49 co-sponsors as well as support from the State Department.

Additionally, to increase awareness of the benefits of worldwide travel, Lonely Planet has joined forces with globally respected musicians Michael Franti and Karsh Kale to headline music/travel events this month.  The “Passport to the World” events will take place on September 22 at the Spirit Club in New York City, September 24 at Chicago’s Park West and September 30 at the Mezzanine in San Francisco. The events will feature performances from Franti, Kale and local world beat musicians in each city and much more. Attendees will be able to have free passport photos taken, meet and talk to Lonely Planet experts, tape video testimonials about their greatest travel story or travel dream, and experience the sights and sounds of world travel in the Lonely Planet Lounge. Local booksellers will be selling Lonely Planet guides and a portion of the proceeds from each event will go to local charities.

Lonely Planet has just released a book entitled “Don’t Let the World Pass You By! 52 Reasons to Have a Passport”. Written by eight Lonely Planet authors from across the country, this one-of-a-kind book presents 52 reasons, along with humorous personal anecdotes that illustrate the value of getting a passport and travelling abroad. The book features an Introduction by Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler and a Foreword by Phil Keoghan, host of the award-winning, world-exploring television show “The Amazing Race.”

Lonely Planet has established a website, www.gotpassport.com, where Internet users can sign a petition supporting National Passport Month. This site also offers National Passport Month resolution updates as well as information on passport-related events and trip giveaways/sweepstakes which are being sponsored across the country.

Lonely Planet is passionately dedicated to the promotion of travel, and to sharing the riches that travel bestows. The company know from decades of exploration and interaction that international travel helps individuals everywhere learn understanding, tolerance and mutual respect for other cultures.

For more information, contact Cindy Cohen, 510-893-8556 ext. 221 or cindy.cohen@lonelyplanet.com.