When Aditya Gupta, a Gurugram-based IT professional, left for Istanbul ultimate week on a business-cum-holiday experience, a few of the essentials he installed in his bag became a modern-day copy of Lonely Planet travel guide. It changed into the 12th travel guidebook he had sold within the final four years, and they all, now canine-eared with yellow notes coming out of them, are stacked on a bookshelf at his residence. “These guidebooks are a file of my trips, my remaining advisors,” says Gupta. “I in no way felt misplaced in a strange place, whether or not I turned into in Peru or Prague.”
In fact, many like Gupta still turns to tour guidebooks — Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides — to devise journeys of their lifetime. No wonder then the broadcast journey guidebook, whose obituary was written some years ago, is alive and keeps to thrive, overcoming the developing assignment from several digital systems along with TripAdvisor, Expedia, Google Trips, and Instagram, which, with its eighty million image uploads every day, threatens to take the mystique out of the tour.
“There has been a double-digit upward thrust in income; in truth, 80% of our revenue comes from our print commercial enterprise. Unlike many online tour platforms, what our tour guides provide is curated, proven, and sensible statistics masking all factors of the tour,” says Sesh Seshadri, Director, Lonely Planet India.
René Frey, CEO of London-based APA Publications, which publishes both Rough Guides and Insight Guides, testified to the iconic recognition of journey guidebooks. “The upward push of online structures along with TripAdvisor created a wave, and plenty of people concept the guidebook is lifeless. It isn’t,” he says. “30-40% of all reviews online are opportunity statistics. The bodily journey guide’s characteristic is to present the patron reliable, truthful, and curated records on how to plot a ride. Simply talking, customers purchase our Rough Guides or Insight Guides due to the fact they feel any individual they could consider has executed the basis for them.”
The history of the contemporary travel guidebook dates to the early nineteenth century whilst guides with publishers and writers’ aid, including John Murray-III, Karl Baedeker, and Mariana Starke, have become quite famous among visitors — the newly wealthy on their grand excursions of Europe. Eugene Fodor, Arthur Frommer, and Tony Wheeler dominated the journey guidebook marketplace in the twentieth century, and their publications continue to be popular. In reality, most of the early variations using Murray and Baedeker have become popular collectibles.
The Lonely Planet delivered out its first India guide inside the 1980s. In the words of its founder Tony Wheeler on the Lonely Planet India website, it turned into a turning point inside the organization’s records: “Our first India guide in 1981 changed into a massive step forward, a bigger and extra audacious title than something we’d achieved formerly and a book which was each a vital and business fulfillment. That one title modified Lonely Planet from a small suffering agency to a far greater firmly based operation totally.” In 2015, the enterprise released Lonely Planet Kids, the richly illustrated books aimed at young guests.
Today, no matter the net’s growing undertaking, most guidebook publishers are scaling up their operations, including new titles each year. DK Travel re-released its Eyewitness Travel Guides series with a brand new design, pictures, and its trademark illustrations in 2018 to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary. “There has been a consistent demand for compact travel courses that concentrate on the top 10 highlights of a specific vacation spot. Indian destinations, inclusive of Bengaluru and Goa, have been executed thoroughly for us. Delhi also has been a constant seller,” says Aparna Sharma, managing director, DK India. “People are beginning to mistrust virtual, especially in this age of fake information. There has been a resurgence of all matters physical—the renewed reputation of vinyl facts, the boom in print ebook income as a whole”.
Every journey guidebook has its personal region of specialization. While Lonely Planet is known for comprehensive, no-nonsense statistics, listings, and on-floor tour suggestions, Rough Guides are acknowledged for in-intensity sightseeing facts. The Blue Guides, which commenced publishing in 1918, are well-known for offering a scholarly record of locations you are visiting. Most guidebooks are updated every two years.
“Every replaces like a new version; however, the writing fashion, the tone, and voice, a unique part of our courses, continue to be equal. We have 250 authors around the sector who visit, revisit, discover new locations and provide up to date and insightful knowledge,” says Seshadri.
Many professional journey writers, along with Archana Singh, who travels solo and runs a famous blog ‘Travel, See, Write,’ says she shops maximum of her travel facts — the boarding bypass, ride itinerary, offline and online navigation apps, lodge booking — on her cell phone, but prefers to hold a physical journey guidebook whilst she visits an offbeat or more recent place. “At instances, when constant internet gets right of entry to is a difficulty, tour guidebooks come very accessibly.
Plus, the convenience and ease of page-turning enjoy associated with guidebooks can’t be in comparison with virtual guidebooks wherein navigation could be an ache at instances.”
But then others sense while there are countless hints at your fingertips and a map of the whole planet to your mobile, there may be no point in carrying a cumbersome travel e-book that is going obsolete in a couple of years. “Recently, I became in the Philippines and went seeking out a restaurant indexed in a travel guide; however, I found it was closed,” says Regev Aloni, 24, who hails from Israel and is in Delhi. “I am a fantastic fan of Google Trips.”
But his pal from Turkey, Humeyra Gundogan, who is also on a journey to Delhi, says she likes to journey without any manual books, either digital or print. “I just love to hit the streets once I am in a brand new town, talking to locals, asking them which I can cross; I suppose this is the pleasant way to discover a new region.”
Ajay Jain, a journey creator and founder of the Kunzum Travel Café in Delhi, feels tour publications need to reinvent themselves to live applicably. “Instead of trying to percent an excessive amount of statistics approximately the things to do, they have to discover a better way of combing information and storytelling,” says Jain, who has written several books, consisting of ‘Kunzum Delhi a hundred and one.’ In reality, some tour writer-publishers have taken the idea of a perfect travel manual beyond curated content material, focusing on the books’ appearance and feel.
Take, for example, Fiona Caulfield, the founding father of Love Travel India, a company that brings out a range of hand made travel guides — Love Delhi Guide, Love Mumbai Guide, Love Goa Guide, among others — whose brand equity, in keeping with Caulfield, is an aggregate of ‘authenticity, intimacy, and sensuality,’ the closing regarding their layout. “They are printed on delicately textured handmade paper; they boast khadi cotton covers, and all the books are hand-sure,” says Caulfield, who hails from Australia and is based totally in Bengaluru. “Our guides are aimed at time-bad luxurious vagabonds.”
Aditya Gupta says an awesome tour guide is also a chronicle of life, food, and way of lifestyles at a particular location in the course of a specific duration in history. “Maybe someday, I will select out a travel manual from my shelf and move again to these antique haunts to look what has become of them.