Travel site and digital media company Lonely Planetis partnering with Intrepid Travel, an Australia-based adventure travel company, to offer more than 300 sustainable group tours worldwide.
It is Lonely Planet’s first move into the tour business, bringing its travel content to life.
“For over four decades, travelers have looked to Lonely Planet for trusted travel advice,” stated Luis Cabrera, CEO of Lonely Planet. “Now, global explorers looking for the inside track can journey along with us on this new range of tours. This is an exciting innovation and evolution for the Lonely Planet brand.”
The launch of the tours, called Lonely Planet Experiences, is the latest in a series of new ventures by the media company to reach audiences, beyond its guidebooks.
The company appointed Cabrera last February. When he took the position, Cabrera was tasked with setting the company on a new strategic direction and launch new ventures like tours, festivals and a membership program.
Lonely Planetannounce d in November a partnership with Ford Motor to create a series of custom travel content and out-of-home experiential marketing.
"Thinking of Lonely Planet as a platform completely changes the way brands and advertisers can partner with our brand," he told Publishers Daily at the time.
The new Lonely Planet Experiences tours are billed as carbon neutral. Intrepid has been a carbon-neutral travel company since 2010 and is working to become climate positive in 2020.
“Lonely Planet helped pioneer access to more authentic and grassroots experiences for independent travelers. That’s why we’re thrilled to be part of the next phase of their growth and helping to make sustainable experience-rich travel a mainstay for travelers everywhere,” stated James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.
The Lonely Planet Experiences tours will use local transportation and support local businesses. All tours will be in groups with under 16 travelers, led by a local leader.
At launch, Lonely Planet and Intrepid are offering 200 day-tours operated by Urban Adventures, Intrepid Travel’s day-tour company.
There are also more than 130 multi-day tours, including walking, cycling, food, festivals, family and marine adventures.
The tours will run in six continents, across 65 countries.
They range from a two-and-a-half-hour tour through Tokyo’s kitchens and fish market for $77 to a seven-day tour through the Galapagos for $948, for example. A 15-day tour in Egypt starts at $1,064.
Tours will also include exclusive discounts on Lonely Planet’s guidebooks and free access to its flagship "Guides" app.
Travel publishers like National Geographic have been operating tours for a few years now; National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures launched in January 2016.