By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

THE slow long-term decline of Lonely Planet, which has struggled to commercialise its print product online, continues with the travel publisher announcing that 50 of its staff will be sacked, most from its Melbourne HQ.

Nielsen Bookscan reports that travel book sales dropped by almost 9% last year. While there are several reasons for the slump, none is bigger than the Internet where social media and travel planning websites have usurped traditional print.

Ironically, given the online challenge it faces, Lonely Planet, now 75% owned by BBC Worldwide,  told Bookseller.com that many of the cuts will be in the IT and online area with the publisher “changing the scope” of some jobs. Travel Trends: February 27, 2009

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