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 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 an strange place, whether or not I turned into in Peru or Prague.”
In fact, there are many like Gupta who still turn 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 became written some years ago, is alive and keeps to thrive, overcoming the developing assignment from a number of 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 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 tour,” says Sesh Seshadri, director, Lonely Planet India.
René Frey, CEO of London-based APA Publications, which publishes both Rough Guides and Insight Guides, too 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 on line are opportunity statistics. The characteristic of the bodily journey guide 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 the aid of publishers and writers inclusive of 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 by means of Murray and Baedeker have become popular collectables.
The Lonely Planet delivered out its first India guide inside the 1980s, and 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 some thing 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 totally operation.” In 2015, the enterprise released Lonely Planet Kids, the richly illustrated books aimed at young guests.
Today, no matter the growing undertaking from the net, 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 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 on this age of fake information. There has been a resurgence of all matters physical—the renewed reputation of vinyl facts, the boom in print e book income as a whole”.
Every journey guidebook has its personal region of specialisation. 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 records of locations you are visiting. Most guidebooks are updated every two years.
“Every replace is like a new version however the writing fashion, the tone and voice, a unique part of our courses, continue to be the 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 get right of entry to is an difficulty, tour guidebooks come very accessible.
Plus, the convenience and ease of page-turning enjoy associated with guidebooks can’t be in comparison with virtual guidebooks wherein navigation could be a ache at instances.”
But then there are others who 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 in 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 applicable. “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 very good travel manual beyond curated content material, additionally focusing at the appearance and feel of the books.
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 a 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 way 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 have become of them.