Interview with Lonely Planet founder

4:57 AM
Interview with Lonely Planet founder - One thing that I love is a travel blog that it lets me amazingly ordinary people know and also gives me a chance my journey heroes meet. I had drinks with Pauline Frommer, met Rick Steves, was a friend of Johnny Jet and Matt Gross, the (ex) Frugal Traveler, hanging out with Rolf Potts and chatted about flights George Hobica to name just a few things. A few weeks ago, Lonely Planet has me in contact with its founder, Tony Wheeler. We exchanged a few emails, he agreed to do an interview, and I raved a bit about his influence on my travels
Nomadic Matt :. Your "Lonely Planet Guide to Southeast Asia" changed leaders and travel. There was a mass market and accessibility, which did not exist before. How does such a great influence on the journey you feel
Tony Wheeler : Great, looking back there at the beginning of the large Done something we were. Travel became affordable and accessible, so there is a demand for objective information was. That's how Lonely Planet began with people who ask for our recommendations for goals, because we had been there and done it. This led to the establishment of our first travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap. There is actually a book about to be published by a man, who today to travel to the region is trying to use one of our original books Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (now 36 years old). Amazingly, he found a lot of places, either still running or run by the children or even grandchildren of the people we encountered when we 1974 Travel researched constantly changing the lead in and develop, but the need for trusted, accurate information about destinations still there , More and more people are traveling more and more and in different ways. Our leaders continue to give the best recommendations, to the established our first guide Across Asia on the Cheap.
Lonely Planet is considered the bible of young hikers and long-term travelers. It is the book she includes far more than any other leader. Is that the market you always been hoped that the style of the trip was begun with you?
We started just doing for the people, books like we, young and penniless. Obviously, we have changed over the years, and so have the books! But although we cover the upscale travel just like Backpacking these days I still have a real soft spot for backpackers, they travel pioneers, they are often new ways and new ways of travel groundbreaking and let's face it, there are no travel experience as the first time travel experience. I reckon learn out more travelers this year, as they have done in the last 5 years school. Or the next few years at the University! I also like the difficult journey, off-the-beaten track information, which is why I have enjoyed myself our leadership in Africa Congo DR Congo with the last three weeks.
In the book "The Beach", there is a line "Once it is in the Lonely Planet, ruined it." This comment reflects the feeling that Lonely Planet (and guide books in general) sterilize places and turn them into tourist traps. How do you respond to such criticism
here is the key that Lonely Planet guides are just that - a guide. We recommend travelers our leaders to use as a starting point, by them. With the tools to create their own adventures Tourists will visit destinations, regardless, we will. Only with the tools to travel independently and set their tourist pounds into the local economy It has always been of utmost importance to us that Lonely Planet encourages responsible, independent and ethical tourism. Our guides advise travelers on local history, politics, culture, nature and economy, so that they can get into the heart of the resort and to understand to the destination they are visiting. I have devoted my life to travel and am a strong believer in its benefits, both for the traveler and the local community who visit. Travel broadens the mind of cultures, language and traditions to share. It is impossible that tourism to argue not affect goals, but there are many factors for the growth of tourism to contribute, not least routes and the decreasing cost of travel.
Are there aspects of travel that have in the last 20 years greatly changed, that you do not want? Why?
A lot of people are the greater ease of travel, communication say and have taken information, the romance of the trip, but I think things like Internet cafes are just a new version of postlagernd. There are only so many stories of internet cafe meetings and romances as "sitting on the steps of the post long to read Lost Letters. 'Its The saddest change is a post-911 security. Of course, I hate that around with metal detectors and X-ray equipment fart (and I could be a better way, design 0% of the airports I do happen), but the biggest that you can not go up the flight deck more. While you never could on US carriers, elsewhere in the world when you can up shoulder to have usually invited on the flight deck views over the pilots ask nicely. the one I flew Concorde I went the sharp end and twice I even sit on a landing of
747 in
on the other side of this question, what to see, how you changed the more positive aspects, such as traveling in the last 20 years?
romance or not, I'd be lying if I said I do not have the ease of doing things like these days, whether it is a hotel reservation, get a seat on a plane in Congo DRC or a train in Switzerland, and you can download visa applications immediately. (Iran was wired amazing and helpful in this regard, the last time that I was there.) The almost anywhere you can get a free or near-as-damn-it free local SIM card for the phone have so I had my own phone number from Afghanistan to Zambia is also amazing everywhere, like ATM machines spit out in the strangest and most unlikely places currency.
Where do you see leaders in the digital age is?
It is often said, it is as ever so much pressure, it is simply no longer necessarily on paper. I think that we need to keep on exploring things go, a good job, you need to go there to do, you can not explore a place behind a desk or in front of a computer. But if the "leader" is a book or iPhone app, who knows.
What do you think of travel blogs?
Great. Travelogues publish such an abundance and variety of travel products. There is a great community and it's exciting to see it grow.
Do you think that it's a professional quality blogs to travel, which is of guidebooks on the level?
Some of them. But then there are some good leaders and some also crap ones.
Which blogs do you like? What are some examples of "good"?
I follow any blogs, but if I am connected to something at a certain trip or place or an idea I think about it, then I often end up looking at someone's blog. Congo trip was I just made very banal, but God there are some great Congo are stories. As these by a Belgian couple who slogged their way across the country, all but destroyed their Land Cruiser on the road and put it through the kind of hell Toyota could hardly devised. And I've gone much Cruisers "roads" in the country, where at the end, I thought 'what a car! Amazing! "
Why did you sell your stake in Lonely Planet?
We did not want it to go on forever, and it was time for a change.
Now that you have Lonely Planet sold as you keep yourself busy?
keep traveling! I'm working on a new travel book and Lonely Planet keep asking me to do some things.
So you're still involved with LP? is this as an advisory role or have a certain track?
a Title? a role? Something that I paid for? No, but I write a monthly column for the LP Magazine, I seem a lot intros / forewords / columns / etc to write for various LP books, I asked many times to the front for a bit, appearing for a little, etc with LP. And for the rest of my life I'm 'one of the people who started LP. "And I'll never anywhere can go without returning changes / corrections / suggestions for that book. Incidentally, I have never had a record business card had on them with a title or role.
If you have any advice for travelers, what would it be?
to go. And you go somewhere interesting.
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