Confusing and difficult to assess, as I understand it, Lonely Planet has decreased staff by about 10 percent worldwide. Supposedly, mostly internet staff, but all this is just noise to me, there is no clarity.
I still believe paper guidebooks provide the cheapest recommendations for Hotel rooms. The internet is tricky, misleading, and full of swindles; I believe generally internet consumers pay more than people who use guidebooks like the Lonely Planet.
San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Monday, April 26, 2010
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com
The Future of Hotel Internet Sites
I believe that my own internet site is the future replacement of paper Guidebooks and we will eventually supply Smartphone applications. Right now with only 1400 Hotels listed it still is not large enough to work well. We estimate there is 25 Million Hotels on the planet, and we need another 20,000 to just become reasonably useful for readers.
The largest Internet Hotel site has about 100,000 Hotels, just a drop in the bucket.
We are all tourist at the end of the day, and we all want to find a Hotel, the Lonely Planet feels to be wanting Flashpackers, a mistake in my opinion, but that is their choice. Who can say? I do not think the BBC who purchased Lonely Planet has reached out to any of Backpacker sites and asked,
"What do you think? What should we do?"
Am I a backpacker, am I a Luxury Traveler, am I a Tourist, what am I? I know at the end of the day we are all tourist, it is a little ridiculous to say we must fit into only one category. The internet sites that do the best on the internet are the ones that try to include everyone, when they become restrictive, they start to die, and internet sites need to find a place for everyone.
I remember when Yahoo wanted to charge 269 dollars to submit, this is when Google.com became a player and Yahoo started its slow decline.
I hope Lonely Planet finds a place on the internet to thrive, but I am not hopeful, I think they need to stay with paper, and off the internet to be prosperous. Generally, website are best run by a couple of smart people, and big committees are clueless to understand Search Engine Optimizations, too many cooks really do spoil an internet site.
Let me think, what does a Horse look like designed by a committee?
- A Camel
A person who uses a Guidebook like Lonely Planet will still pay 10 dollars for a room, while a person using the internet will pay 30 on average.