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When the company was last bought, most of the old execs were fired, bought out, or driven out.In their place was installed a management team with little knowledge of the industry they were now in.LP has this giant content management system, where the author submits their research and, from that, they make the guidebook.But I’ve been told that now, after writers enter information into the database, another person — who may have no knowledge of the destination — comes along and assembles a book.While most people still used Lonely Planet (and guidebooks in general) for preplanning, they reiterated what I kept hearing on the road: the books seem to get more out of date, the writing has lost its edge, the guides have gotten more upscale and less about offbeat and budget destinations, the website is hard to use, and blogs are often better.Here’s some examples of common responses (click here to see them all): Over the years, travelers I’ve met in person have echoed the same complaint: that LP’s special is long gone.For good or ill, Lonely Planet often made destinations, hostels, and restaurants.Sure, its guides became synonymous with mass tourism, but for me, they were a great resource to thumb over while on a bus or train, or in a hostel.

The decision to ignore market research and go with their gut explains much of the decline and why the books are a shell of what they used to be.

The last couple of times I’ve used their website and guides ended in frustration and disappointment and made me ask myself:“What the heck is the matter with Lonely Planet?

”While it’s still the largest guidebook company in the world with 25% of the market, it’s fallen from its perch as “the bible” for budget travelers.

Multiple sources reached out to me for this article to describe their experiences with Lonely Planet since the buyout.

Authors complained about LP’s lack of communication, respect, and input, and about policy changes that communicated to their contributing experts “please go away.”It’s something I’ve been hearing for years from my LP friends.

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