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Lonely Planet says it is revamping operations

Thursday - 7/18/2013, 4:18pm  ET

BETH J. HARPAZ
AP Travel Editor

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lonely Planet says it is revamping operations and planning changes that are likely to result in job losses.

The guidebook company, which was bought by Nashville-based NC2 Media in March, on Wednesday announced "a series of changes to its operations in response to a challenging external environment." The company added that "a number of positions at our offices around the world have the potential to be affected."

The statement said the planned "changes will enable Lonely Planet to be well positioned for ongoing success and investing in the future in line with our 40-year heritage."

Australian news outlets reported layoffs at Lonely Planet's Melbourne, Australia, headquarters, with other changes expected at the company's offices in London and Oakland, Calif.

NC2 executive director Daniel Houghton, who is also chief operating officer of Lonely Planet, told Skift.com that the company is "still in the process of determining the best location" for new positions that may be created as the company is reconfigured. Houghton denied a report that Lonely Planet's digital operations would all be sent to Nashville.

BBC Worldwide sold Lonely Planet to NC2 Media for 51.5 million pounds ($77.8 million), taking an 80 million pound loss from what it paid to buy the company in 2007 from its founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler. The decrease in the company's fortunes was due among other things to a downturn in leisure travel during the recession as well as a shift in consumer preferences from print publications to digital information.

Emails sent by The Associated Press to NC2 Media and Daniel Houghton requesting more information were not immediately answered.


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