Turn the clock back a decade or two, and every backpacker would be clutching a copy of a Lonely Planet travel guide.
From Delhi to Budapest, from Prague to Bangkok, and from Rio de Janeiro to Copenhagen, they were the bibles for independent travelers.
Not anymore, though.
Where guidebooks were once vital for finding out about the main attractions in a city, and the location of the best hotels or backpacker hostels, that information can now be accessed within seconds on a laptop, tablet or smart phone.
This trend partly explains why the BBC, which had bought Lonely Planet in stages in 2007 and 2011, made a $121 million loss when it offloaded the struggling publisher last year. Reports indicate the company’s sales dropped from $25 million to $18 million between 2006 and 2012, while other travel guide publishers have also found life difficult.
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(Photo: Gisela Royo/sxc.hu)