Lonely Planet shuts Australian office, staff laid off due to COVID-19

The travel publisher, which founded in Australia, has blamed the coronavirus pandemic for having to wind down its operations.

9/04/2020 9:51:00 AM

Global publishing giant Lonely Planet is closing its Australian and London offices 'almost entirely' as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the travel industry | JoshDye91

The travel publisher, which founded in Australia, has blamed the coronavirus pandemic for having to wind down its operations.

"It seems to be a little bit jumping the gun," he said."Book sales are a bit like toilet paper – people are hoarding them, buying them while they’re locked down."The Lonely Planet spokesman would not say how many staff were affected, but a source with knowledge of the redundancies said up to 80 people would lose their jobs in Australia, with the office based in Melbourne.

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The spokesman said there would be "impacts" to Lonely Planet's other locations around the world which include three offices in the US, one in India and another in Ireland.The business was founded by the Wheelers who travelled from the UK through Europe and Asia before arriving in Australia in 1972 where they published

Across Asia on The Cheapthe following year.BBC Worldwide purchased a 75 per cent stake in Lonely Planet in 2007 before acquiring the remaining share in 2011. The business is now owned by US billionaire Brad Kelley's company NC2 Media.In 2014 the Wheelers received Queen's birthday honours for "distinguished service to business and commerce as a publisher of travel guides, and as a benefactor to a range of Australian arts and aid organisations".

Staff at the travel publisher were told the news on Wednesday. Those laid off will be paid out their entitlements after the consultation process has ended.One former employee was unsurprised about the company's demise, saying "it's been a shitshow for a long time now".

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JoshDye91 Lonely Planet belongs in Powerhouse Museum. JoshDye91 It won’t reopen. lonelyplanet is past their use by date by a few years. JoshDye91 Now they will be Lonely!!! JoshDye91 The canary in the coalmine

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