Just days after graduating in 1972, Tony and his wife Maureen set off on the Asia overland trip, from London to Australia. They drove from London to Afghanistan in a beat up minivan and eventually arrived in Sydney, Australia, with 27 cents between them. By this time the intention to get back to London after a year had been comprehensively jettisoned and the continual questioning from people they met – How did you travel? What did you see? What did it cost? – inspired them to turn their diaries into the first Lonely Planet book.
Lonely Planet has gone on to become the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 120 million books in eleven different languages. Along with guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet, Lonely Planet also produces a range of gift and reference titles, an award-winning website and magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps.
In 2013 Nashville-based media company, NC2 Media, acquired Lonely Planet from BBC Worldwide. BBC Worldwide had first acquired a share in the company in 2007 before becoming sole owners in 2011.
Today, Lonely Planet has offices in the Australia, UK, USA, India and China with over 400 employees and 200 authors.
Lonely Planet is still driven by the philosophy defined in Across Asia on the Cheap: ‘All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!’