Could it actually—finally—be a real possibility that the printed travel guidebook is not long for this digital world? As a former full-time guidebook author myself, I honestly never thought I’d say this, but given the most recent shakeup with the Lonely Planet brand, I suppose it is beginning to look that way. And what an incredible shame that would be.

In the meantime, those of you young enough to have never actually purchased or used a physical guidebook might find the following infographic especially educational.

Just to state the obvious, it’s nowhere near to being a completist look at the history of the guidebook publishing industry, but as someone who knows quite a lot about the travel end of the books business, it does look pretty accurate to me.

So have a look, and if you’re so inclined, let us know where and how you gather your travel information in advance of a big trip. Do any of you travel with e-book versions of guidebooks on your tablets or e-readers, for instance? Do any of you still lug around those multi-country doorstopper Lonely Planet guides? Why or why not?


Infographic courtesy of


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