When Aditya Gupta, a Gurugram-based totally IT professional, left for Istanbul’s final week on a commercial enterprise-cum-vacation journey, the various necessities he installed in his bag turned into a modern-day copy of Lonely Planet tour guide. It became the twelfth tour guidebook he had sold within the ultimate 4 years, and all of them, now canine-eared with yellow notes coming out of them, are stacked on a bookshelf at his house. “These guidebooks are a document of my trips, my final advisors,” says Gupta. “I in no way felt misplaced in an unexpected location, whether I changed into in Peru or Prague.”
In reality, many like Gupta nevertheless turn to tour guidebooks — Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides — to plot journeys in their lifetime. No wonder then the published tour guidebook, whose obituary was written some years in the past, is alive and keeps to thrive, overcoming the developing assignment from some digital systems inclusive of TripAdvisor, Expedia, Google Trips, and Instagram, which, with its eighty million image uploads each day, threatens to take the mystique out of the journey.
“There has been a double-digit rise in sales; in truth, eighty% of our revenue comes from our print commercial enterprise. Unlike many online tour systems, what our travel guides provide is curated, proven, and realistic information protecting all components of tour,” says Sesh Seshadri, Director, Lonely Planet India.
René Frey, CEO of London-based APA Publications, which publishes each Rough Guides and Insight Guides, too testified to the enduring popularity of travel guidebooks. “The rise of online structures including TripAdvisor created a wave and lots of humans concept the guidebook is dead. It isn’t,” he says. “30-forty% of all critiques online are alternative data. The characteristic of the physical travel guide is to provide the consumer with dependable, honest, and curated records on how to devise a trip. Simply speaking, consumers buy our Rough Guides or Insight Guides because they feel any individual they can believe has finished the foundation for them.”
The records of the modern-day journey guidebook date to the early nineteenth century when guides via publishers and writers along with John Murray-III, Karl Baedeker, and Mariana Starke became quite famous among travelers — the newly wealthy on their grand tours of Europe. Eugene Fodor, Arthur Frommer, and Tony Wheeler dominated the travel guidebook marketplace within the 20th century, and their courses stay popular. In fact, a number of the early editions by means of Murray and Baedeker have come to be famous collectibles.
The Lonely Planet brought out its first India guide inside the Nineteen Eighties, and within the phrases of its founder Tony Wheeler at the Lonely Planet India website, it was a turning factor in the organization’s records: “Our first India guide in 1981 turned into a massive breakthrough, a bigger and more audacious identify than anything we’d accomplished previously and an ebook which become each a vital and commercial achievement. That one title modified Lonely Planet from a small suffering enterprise to a much more firmly primarily based operation.” In 2015, the company released Lonely Planet Kids, the richly illustrated books aimed toward young guests.
Today, despite the growing venture from the net, maximum guidebook publishers are scaling up their operations, including new titles every 12 months. DK Travel re-released its Eyewitness Travel Guides series with a new layout, pictures, and trademark illustrations in 2018 to mark its 25th anniversary. “There has been a consistent call for compact tour publications that target the top 10 highlights of a selected vacation spot. Indian destinations, inclusive of Bengaluru and Goa, have been accomplished thoroughly for us. Delhi also has been a regular vendor,” says Aparna Sharma, coping with the director, DK India. “People are starting to distrust virtual, in particular in this age of fake news. There has been a resurgence of all matters physical—the renewed recognition of vinyl statistics, the increase in print ebook sales as an entire”.