Does Lonely Planet's sale mark death of print travel guides?
BBC Worldwide was selling Lonely Planet to NC2 is clearly another step in the ongoing shift from print to digital.
Tuesday’s news that BBC Worldwide was selling Lonely Planet to NC2 isn't quite “Video Killed the Radio Star,” but it’s clearly another step in the ongoing shift from print to digital. After all, when travelers can carry a library’s worth of travel content on their smartphone or tablet, those hefty tomes might as well be stone tablets.
“Travel content is about connecting content to travelers wherever, however and whenever they need it,” said Mark Henshall, a former Frommer’s editor and now content director at Propellernet, a UK-based digital agency. “Digital does that really well.”
And, like newspapers and other forms of print media, traditional guidebooks are feeling the squeeze. According to Nielsen Bookscan, the nation’s retailers sold 7.97 million books in the adult non-fiction/travel category last year, a 19-percent drop from 2011 and a 27-percent drop from 2010.