Lonely Planet Announces Plans to Establish Operations in India

For Immediate Release: 31 January  2011

Lonely Planet Announces Plans to Establish Operations in India
Global travel brand will develop print & digital content by Indian authors, for Indian travellers

MELBOURNE – Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel content provider, has announced plans to establish operations in India over the next 12 months.

The initiative will enable Lonely Planet to develop local content written by Indian authors for Indian travellers across print and digital platforms.

Lonely Planet CEO Matt Goldberg said the company wants to do more to meet the needs of Indian travellers.

“We’ve been distributing English language editions of Lonely Planet guidebooks in India since the early 1980s and we are India’s leading publisher of international guides in English,” Mr Goldberg said. “But those guides are currently written for an international, predominantly Western, audience, and don’t necessarily take into account the way Indians travel internationally and domestically.”

“The growth of the Indian travel market presents us with an exciting opportunity to better connect with local audiences,” Mr Goldberg said.

Lonely Planet currently conducts a range of activities in India to support book distribution, content digitisation and e-publishing conversion. In addition, the company’s majority owner BBC Worldwide successfully launched Lonely Planet Magazine India in January 2010.

“We want to build on this success, and are currently in discussions with a number of potential Indian partners to help us develop local print and digital products for Indian travellers,” Mr Goldberg said.

Lonely Planet is already experienced in developing content for non-Western travellers. Last May, the company launched its first locally produced guidebook series in China for Chinese travellers, written by local authors trained in the Lonely Planet style of travel writing. Those guides have been acclaimed by Chinese media and sales have exceeded expectations.

A small team of talented locals will soon be recruited to establish operations and these employment opportunities will be advertised in India’s national newspapers this week.

Lonely Planet’s Regional Manager for India, Sesh Seshadri, will be leading the recruitment from Delhi.  He said this is an ideal time for the company to be establishing operations in India.

“The Indian outbound travel market is already large and forecast to grow around 50 million trips per year by 2020, while the domestic travel is estimated at about 670 million trips per year,” Mr Seshadri said.

“Our research tells us that 41% of all Indian international travellers share the Lonely Planet mindset of independent travel, and most of those will use a guidebook as a source of travel information.”

With internet and mobile phone usage growing in India, Mr Seshadri said Lonely Planet was also well positioned to develop digital products for Indian travellers.

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Media Contact:
Adam Bennett
Lonely Planet Media & Communications Manager (Asia-Pacific)
+61 (0) 3 8379 8000