Friday, April 5, 2013

The Future Of Guide Books?

One of the benefits of operating a travel related business, isolated from the rest of the world is that we can glimpse into the future by observing trends occurring within more "advanced" overseas markets.

So what can we learn from Google's announcement this month that they are selling-up Frommer's? Frommer's is known worldwide for printing the iconic Frommer's Guidebooks.

Google  purchased the Frommer's brand last year and promptly ceased production and publication of printed guidebooks bearing the Frommer's name in favour of associating the brand with online assets.

Iconic, 83 year-old stalwart, Arthur Frommer, that first published Frommer's guide 57 years ago has recently purchased the brand back from Google and intends to resume publishing Frommer's travel guides in print and ebook along with operating the travel site"

Only time will tell if Frommer was right to wrestle the company back and in particular if there will be a sustainable consumer demand for the soon to be reintroduced Frommer's paper-based guides?

Following the theme of "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic", last month another well-known travel guide brand changed hands. BBC Worldwide cut-loose Lonely Planet by selling it to a Nashville-based digital media company for less than half what it paid for the company in 2007.

While most considered opinion would suggest that the future of paper-based travel guides are on shaky ground, history gives us many examples of sure-fire predictions in travel that turn out to be wrong.

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