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Lonely Planet and China's SDX in new travel publishing partnership

Lonely Planet and SDX Joint Publishing Company (one of China’s most respected publishing houses) have entered into a new publishing partnership.

"At Lonely Planet, we believe that travel is one of the world's most important activities", said Judy Slatyer, Chief Executive Officer, Lonely Planet. "As an organization, our vision is simple: to inspire and enable travellers to connect with the world".

"SDX believes that travel will become an indispensable activity for Chinese people. More and more people are travelling and looking to understand and connect with the world", added Mr Zhang Weimin, President, SDX. "For over 30 years, the Lonely Planet books have helped travellers make the most of their travel experience. Lonely Planet is not just about seeing a destination, but helping travellers understand the historical and cultural context. Lonely Planet enables travellers to connect with local people as well as other travellers and in this way helps create a global travel community. I believe the time is right for Chinese travellers to have access to this type of information as they begin to seek out a more genuine travel experience".

The first set of Lonely Planet guidebooks translated into simplified Chinese script will be launched in June 2006. Launch titles will include guidebooks to key outbound destinations such as Australia, Germany and Britain. The program will initially focus on Lonely Planet’s core guidebook range but will feature titles from Lonely Planet’s burgeoning trade list as well. The new Chinese guidebooks will be available in Xinhua and private bookstores in major cities throughout mainland China.

Based in Beijing, the SDX publishing and marketing teams will work closely with Lonely Planet’s headoffice in Melbourne to ensure these new guidebooks are appropriately adapted for Chinese travellers while remaining true to the pioneering travel spirit and publishing values that have underpinned Lonely Planet’s international reputation for over thirty years.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates that there will be 100 million Chinese outbound travellers by 2020, which represents an annual growth rate around 12% (three times the annual world average for tourism growth). If these estimates are realized, this would make China the world’s fourth largest source market for outbound travellers.

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