BBC Worldwide acquires Lonely Planet

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Tuesday, 2 October 2007

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, has acquired Lonely Planet. The privately owned business is being sold by Tony and Maureen Wheeler, who founded the company in 1972, and John Singleton who became a shareholder in 1999.

John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide, said, "Lonely Planet is a highly respected international brand and a global leader in the provision of travel information. This deal fits well with our strategy to create one of the world's leading content businesses, to grow our portfolio of content brands online and to increase our operations in Australia and America."

Lonely Planet, which has significant operations in Australia, the USA and UK is led by Judy Slatyer (CEO) and her management team, who will be staying with the business. Lonely Planet's Global Headquarters will continue to be based in Melbourne.

Maureen and Tony Wheeler, joint founders, who will retain a 25% shareholding in the company, said, "Joining BBC Worldwide allows us to secure the long-term future of our company within a globally recognised media group. In our discussions with John and his team, we felt that BBC Worldwide would provide a platform true to our vision and values, while allowing us to take the business to the next level."

Etienne de Villiers, Non-executive Chairman of BBC Worldwide, added, "It is testimony to BBC Worldwide's reputation that the Wheelers believe we are the right partner to take the business forward, given the many organisations that have approached them over the years. We are all convinced that the association will strengthen Lonely Planet's visibility and growth potential, particularly in the digital arena, as well as providing their users access to the wide range of BBC content which connects with their interests - from Michael Palin's New Europe to Planet Earth."

Lonely Planet publishes around 500 titles including specialist activity guides, shoestring guides and phrasebooks. It publishes in various languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish. The company also produces and develops factual programming for international broadcasters (Lonely Planet Television). Its flagship TV series, Lonely Planet Six Degrees, produced for Discovery Networks, is now in its third season, and screens in over 100 countries. Meanwhile, Lonely Planet's travel video site,, is establishing a valuable online community of independent travellers, allowing travellers to upload and watch their own video as well as view videos created by Lonely Planet.

Earlier this year BBC Worldwide announced its intention to increase activity in the Australian market, as part of a wider global strategy to focus on key territories. In February this year, BBC Worldwide took a 25% stake in Freehand Productions as a first step to becoming a leading international content producer in Australia.

See other recent news regarding: Travel News Asia, Hotels, Lonely Planet, BBC

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.



Copyright © 1997-2023