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The Lonely Planet Story
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The highly readable Lonely Planet Story: Once While Travelling is a unique mix of autobiography, business history and travel book. It traces founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler's personal story as well as the often-bumpy evolution of their travel guide business into the world's largest independent travel publishing company. In 2007, the Wheelers shocked the publishing industry by selling to BBC worldwide. For the first time, they explain their reasons behind the sale, and their hopes for the future of the brand. Above all, their memoir reveals the spirit of adventure that has made them, according to the New York Daily Times, `the specialists in guiding weird folks to weird places'. Lonely Planet Publications was born in 1973 when the Wheelers self-published a quirky travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap. This was quickly followed by what soon became the backpackers' bible, South-East Asia on a Shoestring. Going boldly where no other travel publisher had ventured, they catered to a new generation of independent, budget-conscious travellers long before the advent of mass tourism.
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The story of how the world's best-loved travel brand began

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This is how it all happened, the adventures, the fun and the passion condensed into an enthralling read --Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Tony Wheeler, who often sleeps with a laptop stowed under his bed, does the majority of the writing, while Maureen offers welcome sidebars filled with her thoughts about a given situation. Neither shies away from writing about the strain running a company and constant traveling had on their marriage, which at times was rocky or the demands put on the lives of their two children, Tashi and Kieran, who just want to be normal teenagers and hang out with their friends instead of traveling the world. --Chicago Sun-Times As spirited and engagingly human as the books that have taught us how and why and where to travel, Tony and Maureen Wheeler's story describes a miracle (from 27 cents to a multi-million dollar empire) that is in its way as inspiring and wondrous as the temples of Pagan or Easter Island's statues. Whether penniless backpackers or heads of a global company, Tony and Maureen somehow always exemplify the very best kind of travelers' enthusiasm and curiosity. --Pico Iyer ...a lively autobiography that is as interesting, informative and amusing as their series itself. ...This look back at their almost 40-year career divides neatly into thirds, with the first energetically covering their various travels while they get their business off the ground; ...the second frankly detailing why their early and "often fairly shoddy productions" became popular because they "were still better than anything else around"; and the third refreshingly discussing their current business ventures. --Publishers Weekly

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