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Case Title:

Lonely Planet – On the Road Less Traveled

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Bharathi S Gopal

Industry: Leisure and Tourism

Region:UK USA Australia

Case Code: DIS0015B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:

This case study is about Lonely Planet, considered to be the world’s most successful independent travel information company. The case, though narrative, makes a subtle reference to the issue.

Since publishing its first travel guide in 1973, Lonely Planet has grown to become the largest independent travel-guidebook publisher in the world with over 600 titles. The company has a reputation for providing comprehensive and up-to-the-second travel information. The company is at the forefront of print and electronic publishing of travel content.

Over the years, the company has broadened its market not only by covering places that were less traveled but, by also publishing titles for different kinds of readers. Though the company managed to survive through the slack period following the 9/11 attacks and subsequent slump in the travel sector, the company realised that it was not immune to such turbulence. Lonely Planet decided to strengthen its focus on non-travel content through its business solutions division. The company had the advantage to draw content from its expertise as a travel publisher. It helped Lonely Planet to deliver customised solutions to various companies such as Sony, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic and many others. But the point of debate is whether Lonely Planet was right in moving in this direction. Has the company lost focus? Or, as always, is this Lonely Planet’s unusual way of strengthening its brand?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand how Lonely Planet witnessed growth.

Keywords : Lonely Planet; Travel; Guidebook; Business; Diversification Strategies Case Study; solutions; budget; Tony Wheeler; Shoestring; Hippe Trail; Sony; Six Degrees; LP; Nokia; Independent Traveler; Thorn Tree; Virgin; Atlantic

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