January 6, 2005

Travel pubs trying to do their part in aiding tsunami victims . . .


Some prominent travel book publishers, such as the publishers of the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide series are trying to use their expertise to help victims of the tsunamis. As a Reuters wire story reports, “After years of helping readers lose themselves in remote and far-flung parts of the world, travel publisher Lonely Planet is now trying to find them amid the tens of thousands dead or missing in tsunami-hit countries. Tapping into its cyber-savvy clientele, many of whom keep computerized diaries of their travels, Lonely Planet established an electronic lost-and-found message board on its ‘Thorn Tree’ Web site link within hours of the disaster.” Company CEO Judy Slater says, “We’ve had double the normal traffic, it has just taken off.” A spokeswoman for Rough Guides, meanwhile, said on its website there is “information for people still planning to travel to the area as well as consular addresses.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.