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Bbc Buys Lonelyplanet

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BBC Worldwide has bought a majority stake in travel guide company Lonely Planet.

The corporation's commercial arm has acquired a 75% stake in the privately owned company using part of its £350m debt facility designed to snap up companies outside the UK.

Lonely Planet publishes around 500 travel-related titles including guidebooks and phrasebooks, as well as TV shows and programming such as Lonely Planet Six Degrees on Discovery Networks.

The company's website includes the hugely popular online community forum thorntree.

The acquisition fits with BBC Worldwide's ambition to move from programming into a content business, it said in a statement.

"Lonely Planet is a highly respected international brand and a global leader in the provision of travel information," said John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide.

"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."

Tony and Maureen Wheeler, who founded Lonely Planet in 1972 with a guide to South-East Asia, will retain a 25% stake in the Melbourne-based operation.

"Joining BBC Worldwide allows us to secure the long-term future of our company within a globally recognised media group," they said.

The Lonely Planet operation will boost BBC Worldwide's travel output, which includes over 500 hours of travel programming such as Michael Palin's New Europe and Planet Earth.

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2181124,00.html

Why is this significant? The Lonelyplanet has for long been seen as a respected, and most importantly, independent publication that gives a fair appraisal of the political realities of the countries it covers, as well as where to find a bed and get a mid priced hotel meal. I used the LP all throughout Asia, including China, Vietnam and Burma, where the background information it gave conferred on me an insight that the package tourists totally lacked.

The BBC however is now a politically biased government organisation (funded by compulsory taxation) whose mandate is to represent the interests of the Brown government. It should have no business using our money to buy publications like this, and will doubtless just continue to spread its own agenda.

Expect the introduction to the next UK Lonely Planet to read something like this "Britain is a fantastic island comprised of 60 million people with very little immigration, a superb health service and billions of pounds of housing wealth thanks to ten years of miraculous economic performance that has abandoned boom and bust..."

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http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2181124,00.html

The Lonelyplanet has for long been seen as a respected, and most importantly, independent publication that gives a fair appraisal of the political realities of the countries it covers,

Come off it! I've been reading Lonely Planet guides for years and they follow exactly the same metropolitan liberal/left agenda that the BBC does - it doesn't surprise me a bit that the Beeb's bought them. I remember reading their guide to Britain in about 1998 when they came out with some strongly pro-Labour rot in the introduction. I prefer the Rough Guides myself, as they have the same leftist guff but at least are a bit lighter and cheaper.

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http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2181124,00.html

Why is this significant? The Lonelyplanet has for long been seen as a respected, and most importantly, independent publication that gives a fair appraisal of the political realities of the countries it covers, as well as where to find a bed and get a mid priced hotel meal. I used the LP all throughout Asia, including China, Vietnam and Burma, where the background information it gave conferred on me an insight that the package tourists totally lacked.

The BBC however is now a politically biased government organisation (funded by compulsory taxation) whose mandate is to represent the interests of the Brown government. It should have no business using our money to buy publications like this, and will doubtless just continue to spread its own agenda.

Expect the introduction to the next UK Lonely Planet to read something like this "Britain is a fantastic island comprised of 60 million people with very little immigration, a superb health service and billions of pounds of housing wealth thanks to ten years of miraculous economic performance that has abandoned boom and bust..."

BBC Worldwide is the BBCs commercial wing, so I doubt it is using 'our money' to make this investment.

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BBC Worldwide is the BBCs commercial wing, so I doubt it is using 'our money' to make this investment.

BBC Worldwide makes its money by reselling content which has been paid for by the licence payer.

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Come off it! I've been reading Lonely Planet guides for years and they follow exactly the same metropolitan liberal/left agenda that the BBC does - it doesn't surprise me a bit that the Beeb's bought them. I remember reading their guide to Britain in about 1998 when they came out with some strongly pro-Labour rot in the introduction. I prefer the Rough Guides myself, as they have the same leftist guff but at least are a bit lighter and cheaper.

Yep, have to agree with (some of) this. Lonely Planet and BBC are welcome to each other. Both have egos far beyond their abilities, both have a "good name" in the world which frankly bewilders me. Anyone who's actually used a Lonely Planet will find they cater for unimaginative followers of fashion, are instantly out of date, and add nothing to experience except "So and so's done this - you can do it too".

Rough Guides give background and history on the country covered, provide a more realistic experience for the traveller, and are usually written with a respect for the country and its inhabitants rather than "where the cheap shopping is".

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