Lonely Planet to close most of Melbourne office as magazine ceases publication

Tokyo, Japan - September 6, 2014: A Japan guidebook alongside a film camera and clothes.

Lonely Planet will cease most of its operations in Melbourne and London, as the iconic travel publisher grapples with COVID-19’s impact on the industry.

ABC News reported the company will also reduce its publishing operations “for the foreseeable future”, but will continue to publish its guidebooks and phrasebooks.

However, it will not commission any more “inspirational” titles and will cease publishing its magazine.

The publisher’s communication manager, Adam Bennett, told ABC News Lonely Planet is proposing its operations in London and Melbourne cease almost entirely.

Tony Wheeler, who co-founded Lonely Planet with his wife Maureen, told the The Sydney Morning Herald: “If there’s not a market for getting on aeroplanes, then there’s not a market for guide books.”

However, Wheeler believes the publisher “jumped the gun”.

“Book sales are a bit like toilet paper – people are hoarding them; buying them while they’re locked down.”

SMH reported up to 80 people in Australia would lose their jobs as a result of the operational changes.

Travel Weekly has reached out to Lonely Planet for comment.

Featured image credit: iStock.com/electravk

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