By Araks-Naomi Zainali  

BuddhaThe Lonely Planet travel guide, one-time staple item for the intrepid explorer, was sold this week by BBC Worldwide to the tune of £51.1m.

Although the sale is at an £80m loss to the BBC’s commercial arm, Lonely Planet is far from being on the edge of demise. Currently it boasts 120 million unique views to its website and 11 million apps downloaded per year.

Its new operating officer Daniel Houghton, chief executive of US firm NC2 Media, plans to build on this momentum and push Lonely Planet even further into the digital era: “The challenge and promise before us is to marry the world’s greatest travel information and guidebook company with the limitless potential of 21st century digital technology.”

With tips and guidance readily available on their mobile phones, and a vast blogosphere of holiday anecdotes, trekkers no longer need to lug around heavy books.

Do you welcome the new, digital incarnation of the travel guide or are you still attached to its traditional format?

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