Lonely Planet was founded by married couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler. They pair met in London in 1970 and, in 1972, embarked on an overland trip through Europe and Asia, eventually arriving in Australia in December 1972. The route that they followed was first undertaken by vehicle on the 1955 Oxford-Cambridge Overland Expedition.
The company name originated from a misheard line in “Space Captain”, a song written by Matthew Moore, the actual lyrics are “lovely planet“. Lonely Planet‘s first book, Across Asia on the Cheap, had 94 pages, was written by the couple in their home. The original print run consisted of stapled booklets and sold out.
Lonely Planet is a large travel guide book, as of 2011, the company had sold 120 million books since inception and by early 2014, it had sold around 11 million units of its travel apps.
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