In addition to constantly expanding their international offerings, Lonely Planet has a growing commitment to books for travelers who want to explore the United States in all its variety. “We recognized that a lot of Americans have less vacation time to go to far-flung places than people in other countries have, so we of late have been publishing more books that can help Americans have adventures closer to home,” said Alvarez. To this end, the company has been focusing on its Pocket guides series to major American cities, national-park guides, and regional-road-trip guides.
Last August, the National Park Service celebrated its centennial, and since then, Lonely Planet has been seeing growing interest in U.S. national parks and in domestic travel in general. Domestic and national-park guides have seen sales growth in the last couple of years. April 2016 saw the publication of National Parks of America, a large-format, photo-heavy book that is equal parts guide and pictorial that has resonated well with consumers. Relatedly, the company is at work on updates of its domestic Best Trips and Road Trips guides, including new editions of regional guides for New York and the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest U.S.A., and Florida and the South, and new Road Trips guides for Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway, all due out in February 2018.
“With road tripping, RVs and campers, and #vanlife gaining in popularity amongst millennials, we have invested heavily in new Trips guides, with an emphasis on providing travelers with inspirational itineraries that cover the must-see sights and experiences of a region beyond the major tourist centers.” explained O’Connell. These books are a more utilitarian counterpart to the new Epic Drives of the World.
Meanwhile, the company has also been adding to its list of Pocket guides to particular cities, with new books coming in 2018 for Austin, Miami, Philadelphia, and Charleston and Savannah. These are small-format guides to single cities that include maps, must-see attractions, and relevant historical information, perfect for quick weekend getaways.