|Tony Wheeler, who has traveled 155 countries and regions, believes China is one of the most interesting destinations. Photos Provided to China Daily|
The travel guidebook behemoth Lonely Planet is opening a Beijing office and publishing three new guidebooks in Chinese. The publisher's co-founder tells Mu Qian why he finds China an exciting travel destination.
Tony Wheeler, co-founder of the world's largest travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet, found his book on China often misleading when he traveled in the country in 2006.
"Every time my China book said from this town to the next town would take five hours, it actually took two hours, and if the book said it would take seven hours, it took three hours," he says.
"I think probably more than any other country on earth, China has changed so much in the period that we have been doing our guidebooks."
Wheeler has returned to China several times since his first trip in the 1980s. This time, he's in China for the opening of the Lonely Planet's Beijing office and the release of three guidebooks in Chinese: Yunnan, Nepal and Thailand's Islands and Beaches.
Working with its Chinese partner, Sinomaps Press, Lonely Planet plans to publish 26 titles in Chinese in 2013 and more than 200 titles in the coming years.
In 1972, Tony and his wife Maureen Wheeler set off on an overland trip through Europe and Asia, and eventually arrived in Australia. The trip resulted in the first Lonely Planet guidebook Across Asia on the Cheap.
Lonely Planet has gone on to become the world's most successful travel publisher, printing more than 100 million books of some 500 different titles in nine languages.