In 1972, married couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler spent six months travelling overland through Europe and Asia, a trip from which they produced a 94-page travel guide titled Across Asia on the Cheap. The stapled booklet drew on other travellers’ experiences and offered tips on everything from places to stay and eat, to the wisdom of taking one’s last puff of marijuana before arriving at the Iranian border, and institutions offering a good price for blood to broke backpackers seeking a quick financial hit. The booklets sold out, and the Lonely Planet guidebook series was off and running. In 2010, after selling more than 100m guidebooks, the Wheelers sold their company to BBC Worldwide for more than £100m. The rise of Lonely Planet — and competitors such as Rough Guides — tracked the expansion of the tourism market as the cost of long-distance travel became ever more affordable. For the adventurous type who didn’t have the money for a travel agent-generated itinerary — or particularly ...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.