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Travel and Social Media. The Lonely Planet Story

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Travel and Social Media. The Lonely Planet Story

  1. 1. Travel and Social Media The Lonely Planet Story
  2. 2. About Lonely Planet.
  3. 3. Founders Tony & Maureen • Tony and Maureen meet in London and travel overland through Asia. • Published first book in 1973 – Across Asia on the Cheap • The Wheeler’s built their company on the commitment to provide travellers with the most useful and relevant travel information in a convenient format.
  4. 4. 35 years later 93 million guidebooks sold 500 titles Translated across 8 languages 6m unique visitors per month 6 foreign language websites 10+ television series screening in over 150 countries
  5. 5. 2009 & beyond In October 2007, BBC Worldwide acquired a 75% stake in Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet aims to significantly increase its reach and recognise its mission in delivering content across different platforms relevant to today’s travellers.
  6. 6. Our brand.
  7. 7. Our Characteristics Unique Unexpected and sometimes brave or surprising. Inspiring Sense of place and experience, creates a curiosity, visualising the dream. Irreverent/Spirited Quirky or unexpected interpretation, cheeky or humorous angle, loads of personality. Opinionated Show it like it is, sometimes challenging. Respectful An awareness and sensitivity to cultures, people and the environment. Authoritative Knowledgable, not staged, real.
  8. 8. Demographics.
  9. 9. Source: Comscore Source: Comscore Source: Omniture
  10. 10. Our Audience Education Household Income USA/USD Highly educated - with over 70% with a degree of professional qualification (Source: Forrester Research 2008 and Lonely Planet Travellers Pulse 2008) Well Travelled 60% of users have been to more than 10 countries (Source: Lonely Planet Travellers Pulse 2008) Technically Savvy - 95% of visitors use the website everyday - visitors are more likely to create and publish content - 22% more likely to interact with social networking sites (Source: Forrester Research 2008) Household Income UK £53.4K which is substantially above average internet user (£45,866) (Source: Forrester Research 2008) Source: Comscore
  11. 11. The History of Travel Social Communities 1300 1850 1955 1970 1990 2000 Post The Hippie The Grand TV Technology WWII Trail/ Tour/ Society/ Community/ Religious Exposure/ Lonely TripAdvisor Expeditions Baedekers Frommers Planet Rick Steves Hoof and Foot Ships & Trains Jet Travel Enviro Concern
  12. 12. Lonely Planet - travel social networking for over 35 years…
  13. 13. San Francisco Chronicle
  14. 14. “The bombs in Mombasa and Time Bali threaten the best 12/10/02 example of global community.”
  15. 15. Work done for BBCW by the Henley Centre has identified 8 global trends
  16. 16. Consumer Trends Most Applicable to the Travel Segment Stop-Go Lives: People are taking shorter breaks more often, in the US 7% more workers took partial weeks off in 2006 than 2005 Experiential Society: People have less time and are seeking value and experiences out of the ordinary. Community Connections: An April 2007 Nielsen study found User Generated Content was the most trusted form of advertising, with 78% of consumers said they trust recommendations from other consumers
  17. 17. The Travel Cycle: What Travelers Use •Podcasts •Podcasts and Videos •Television •Thorn Tree •Newsletters •Groups •AV •Rate and Review •Travel Feature Stories •Talk to Us •Maps •Mobile Devices •Thorntree •Guidebooks •Worldguide •Phrasebooks •Maps •Blogs •Trip Planner •Pick & Mix •Guidebooks •Hotels & Hostels •Shop (print & digital) •Traveler Services
  18. 18. Today’s Social Communities • Creators (Authors): Publish own blog, publish own web pages, upload music/audio you created, write articles or stories and post them • Critics (Back of the Book/Talk 2 Us): Post ratings/review of product or services, comment on someone else’s blog, contribute to online forums • Collectors (Bluelist): Use RSS fields, vote for web sites, add tags • Joiners (Thorntree): Maintain profile on social networking site, visit social networking sites • Spectators (YouTube; LPTV): Read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read online forums, read customer ratings • Inactives (non-travelers/passport initiatives): None of the above Source:Yahoo/Forrester/Compete, Inc. Workshop
  19. 19. Today’s Competitive Landscape Travel content and Sites I use to share travel commerce stories and recommendations sites are lower ranked and and connect with other are losing travelers (community) WAYN rank, but Boots n All communities Travelpod are gaining Trip Up Socialight* * Wikitravel Hostel World Virtual Tourist Yelp** Flickr TripAdvisor Real Travel Lonely Planet Trip Connect Yahoo Travel Borders STA Fodors Kayak Sites I use to Gridskipper Sites I Travelocity* browse, book and use to * buy travel or related Roughguide access Wikipedia NY Times products online DK Travel (commerce) travel Frommers information Guardian Travel Expedia and/or review World66 opinions of others (content) Ranked Ranked Ranked <100 100-4000 >4000 Alexa global average ranking, Nov 07: The rank of a site is the geometric mean of the number of Alexa toolbar users who visit that site and the number of pages on the site viewed by those users. * Ranking is for whole domain, not just travel
  20. 20. Little overlap between content and social networking sites Content sites currently provide: Community sites currently provide: • Guidebook content • User generated travel content only • Articles and information on travel (WAYN, BootsnAll, Yelp), in which some destinations (Guardian Travel) destinations are weak on content • Ability to customize travel guides (DK • Ability to share photos, videos and Encounter) stories with fellow travelers • User generated content through blogs • Facebook’s applications are generally Existing content sites provide limited socialcontent free (Frommers), podcasts and review and or community tools, while social networkingguidebook form provide differentiated, quality, reliable content, but this is rate, or in players don’t (Wikitravel) • Limited community opportunities already beginning to change Key players are expanding their offerings . . Trip Advisor has user generated content, social networking functionality, as well as links to quality content providers for guidebook information. Travelpod and Facebook. Hostelworld upgraded their site to provide additional community functionality
  21. 21. Strategic Options The Decision Framework • Short term savings Do Nothing: • Large opportunity cost (entry into new markets) “Wait and See” • Delay will mean a loss of competitive advantage • Approach is to self funding through business partners Measured approach • Small incremental spending “Engage with market” • Seizes opportunity to edge ahead of competitors • Provides option to accelerate when basics are in place, or reduce spending if revenue is not realized • Investment in Fundamentals Heavy commitment • May require acquisition to ramp up “Grow the market” • Requires larger scale investment to win a position
  22. 22. Where Did We Come From? 11 years of Thorn Tree
  23. 23. 11 years of Thorn Tree Split into categories, which cover destination-specific and specialist- interest branches with over 100,000 active threads. Deep and rich travel Q&A Travelers can form strong bonds on the road that become life-long friendships. In a similar way, the Thorn Tree has brought together travelers both on and off the road from around the globe. It’s this unique blend of community, which mixes hard travel Can I get my visa information with more informal discussion, that has seen the Thorn Tree become one upon arrival to of the most popular and authoritative travel forums on theEthiopia? Or do I need web. The Tree is split into categories which cover destination-specific it in specialist- to get and advance? interest branches with over 100,000 active threads. Do I need malaria medication for my trip to Vietnam? Cycling in Cuba next 2 weeks, anyone else there?
  24. 24. Where Did We Come From? Talk2Us Feedback Center A dedicated Travelers can 5 team of form strong bondsbrought road that travelers life-long and off the road on the become friendships. In a similar way, the Thorn Tree has together both on people, who from around the globe. It’s this unique blend of community, which mixes hard travel information with more informal discussion, that has seen the Thorn Tree become one spend their of the most popular and authoritative travel forums on the web. time reading, The Tree is split into categories which cover destination-specific and specialist- processing and interest branches with over 100,000 active threads. replying to traveler feedback
  25. 25. Feedback: A virtuous circle New Guidebook Published
  26. 26. Feedback: A virtuous circle New Travellers Guidebook Feedback Published
  27. 27. Feedback: A virtuous circle New Travellers Guidebook Feedback Published Talk2Us Process & Reply
  28. 28. Feedback: A virtuous circle New Travellers Guidebook Feedback Published Talk2Us Process & Reply Editors Brief for New Edition
  29. 29. Feedback: A virtuous circle New Travellers Guidebook Feedback Published Authors Talk2Us Research Process Add & & Reply Correct Editors Brief for New Edition
  30. 30. Feedback Results In 2007 • 13,500 travelers sent in feedback • Their emails turned into 30,000+ useful items of information New Travellers Guidebook Feedback Published Authors Talk2Us Research Process Add & & Reply Correct Editors Brief for New Edition
  31. 31. Lonely Planet, a part of social online communities…
  32. 32. Lonely Planet Channel on YouTube • Launched on April 10, 2008 • Features a selection of the best travel videos from Lonely Planet’s own online video- sharing website, and exclusive content such as previews and behind-the-scenes footage from upcoming Lonely Planet Television shows •Current subscribers: 1,754 •Current channel Views: 22,557 •Some LP videos have had 500,000+ views
  33. 33. Lonely Planet group on Facebook • 5,000 members • A space where users can engage with LP, connect with friends they’ve met while travelling and to share travel stories • Lonely Planet is also working on a variety of wireless applications for Facebook users to add on their profiles
  34. 34. Lonely Planet photo groups on Flickr • 35,000 + images •4,100 + members in Lonely Planet Photo Challenge group •2,800+ members in photo book group • These groups are designed to provide an avenue for travelers to showcase their snapshots from their journeys
  35. 35. Where We are Going Online? Lonely VISION To inspire and enable travelers to connect with the world and each other . . . every day CHARACTERISTICS • The whole travel cycle on • Big, profitable, diverse multiple platforms revenue streams • For LP travelers – curious, self- • A rich-media storytelling selecting, self-packaging explorers experience • Topical, accurate, trusted, relevant, and • Interacting “where you like it” we have a distinct Lonely Planet voice • Self-organized with the travel community • Beautiful DNA, and employee/ at the center stakeholder pride • Localization of products for key territories • Global production company
  36. 36. Inspiring and enabling travellers to connect with the world and each other TV ….every day Magazine Digital Digital Wireless I‘m back Wireless I dream Travel Print Print Life I‘m there Cycle Digital Wireless I plan I buy Digital Wireless & book Digital Whilst maintaining leadership in travel publishing, Lonely Planet will further build out its multiple media offering to increase its frequency of engagement and connect with its consumers ‘everyday’.
  37. 37. More content From our guidebooks, repurposed From our authors By aggregating the best From like minded for online on the road content from the web travellers Richer experience And more tools to discover, create & share
  38. 38. The result is a powerful ‘triple play’ not available anywhere else. People will come to the site for: • the single largest source of authored travel content on the web • combined with the insight of the Lonely Planet traveller • and the best of the web. They will return to get up-to-date information, follow travellers through group and community tools, and to take content and share it.
  39. 39. Where are we going? Mobile Media Global connectivity trends are important • Increasing uptake of broadband internet in Asian markets • Interactive TV is growing rapidly, the online market grew 179% in the 12 months to June 2007 with 8 million users of IPTV services worldwide • The market for mobile internet services remains largely untapped, according to the Yankee Group which claim that operators and service providers could be raking in as much as $66bn per year, instead of the $9.5bn they are taking at present • The number of mobile navigation device (GPS) units shipped reached 7.4 million worldwide in the second quarter of 2007, an increase of 116% over the same quarter last year
  40. 40. Where are we going? Mobile Actions • Licensing our content to location based service platforms • Providing a compelling Mobile site – Driving traffic to the M-site through operator deals, owned sites and affiliates – Selling advertising, offering sponsorship opportunities and driving transactions to partners • Selling downloadable applications and video through retail channels
  41. 41. The Lonely Planet Mobile Solution
  42. 42. In conclusion 1/ New technologies are going faster: Web 2.0, Evolution and opportunities in e- tourism 2/ How do you use social media to reach people? 3/ The future of e-tourism