BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Business
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Market Data 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 08:21 GMT
Lonely Planet cuts workforce
Lonely Planet guides are popular with backpackers
Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet is to lay off 15% of its workforce as it faces up to the global downturn in the travel market.

Last year, the company offered its 500 workers the chance to go on extended reduced-pay leave in a bid cut costs.

But on Thursday, the company announced it was to consolidate production at its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, with 75 jobs to go at its offices in London and Oakland, California.

Co-founder Tony Wheeler said the downturn in travel after September's terrorist attacks in the US and the global economic slowdown led to the cuts.

Uncertain return

While Mr Wheeler said sales had now rebounded from the slump which followed 11 September, analysts said the losses made at the end of 2001 were too much for small publishers to absorb.

Lonely Planet's extended leave programme achieved its aim of saving more than $515,000 when it was taken up by 100 employees.

However, it was not enough to stop the job cuts going ahead, and now some of those who took up to five months off on 15% pay may find they have no job to return to.

"It is something we are trying to sort out how to handle," Mr Wheeler said.

Lonely Planet publishes guidebooks to most of the world's countries, along with a website.

It reported $43.2m sales for the year ending June 2001.

Mr Wheeler said the job cuts would not mean a reduction in titles published by the company.

See also:

11 Jan 02 | Business
UK travel sector still suffering
09 Jan 02 | Business
Online travel bucks gloomy trend
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories