It seemed almost inevitable, but with travel down as much as much 10% in parts of the world and likely to erode further, everyone in the industry is facing cutbacks, and this includes Lonely Planet, which recently sent out this announcement to its employees announcing 40 “redundancies” (that’s British for getting axed) as guidebooks and advertising revenue plummets. As CEO Stephen Palmer explains, “It’s not you, it’s them”:
Lonely Planet continues to out-perform the market and build share, but the market has slumped. Even the most optimistic forecasts do not predict any sustained recovery until 2010 at the earliest, and even then it is likely to be slow and patchy. The UN World Travel Organisation forecasts that total outbound travel will fall 2% in 2009, but in our core markets they predict a fall by as much as 10% from the US, 5% from the UK and 2% from Australia. It has become clear that this economic situation is unprecedented, it will not just be a blip and we need to adjust our costs so we can manage through these tough times.
Here’s hoping things turn around soon and travel-junkies around the world are able to once again join the ranks of the working class and get paid to do what they know and love most.
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