Travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet has partnered with Intrepid Travel to launch Lonely Planet Experiences, a range of 300 expert-designed, group tours across the world. Samuel Ballard reports

Following in the footsteps of Airbnb Experiences and Adventures, Lonely Planet Experiences will range from short excursions – such as a two-hour Vintage Las Vegas Arts Tour (starting from US$45) or A Tour through Tokyo’s Kitchen (US$77) through to a 15-day Explore Egypt trip (US$1,064). They will also all be carbon neutral.

Although the coronavirus pandemic means many holidays are having to be postponed for now, the initiative marks Lonely Planet’s first foray into tours, and sees trips available to book from June 2020 and beyond (this could be pushed back if travel restrictions are still in place).

Intrepid, the small group tours specialist, is the world’s largest B-Corp and aims to be carbon positive by the end of 2020. Lonely Planet Experiences will run on six continents, across 65 countries.

The experiences will comprise of 200 day-tours operated by Intrepid Travel’s day tour company, Urban Adventures, covering street food, street art, beer and history in a variety of global cities. There will also be more than 130 multi-day trips that include activities such as cycling, festivals and marine exploration.Women eating street food“For over four decades, travellers have looked to Lonely Planet for trusted travel advice,” says 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.”

James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, says: “These experiences combine our expertise to create a new tour range that will support local communities, protect our natural environment and ensure travellers see the world in a responsible and sustainable way.

“Lonely Planet helped pioneer access to more authentic and grassroots experiences for independent travellers. 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 travellers everywhere.”

Cabrera adds: “Intrepid Travel is widely considered the industry leader in responsible travel and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on Lonely Planet Experiences.

“The two brands share an unmatched passion for travel and a genuine commitment to responsible travel and we’re proud to combine our expertise to deliver amazing adventures for like-minded travellers around the world.”

All tours will be in groups of no more than 16 people and led by locals. They will also support local businesses wherever possible – from using local transportation to eating in independent restaurants. Guests on the tours will get a discount on Lonely Planet guidebooks, access to the Guides app and additional insight throughout the tour.

In recent years numerous publishing companies have looked to expand their portfolios by investing in new verticals. One of the most famous examples of this is the small group tour operator G Adventures partnering with National Geographic on a range of Journeys. Recently, the partnership was expanded to include a range of family adventures. The New York Times also sells curated trips led by experts in the field, as well as its own journalists.

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