Lonely Planet: Fraud

Lonely Planet’s bad trip

THE Lonely Planet guidebook empire is reeling from claims by one of its authors that he plagiarised and made up large sections of his books and dealt drugs to make up for poor pay.

Thomas Kohnstamm also claims in a new book that he accepted free travel, in contravention of the company’s policy.

His revelations have rocked the travel publisher, which sells more than six million guides a year.

Mr Kohnstamm, whose book is titled Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?, said yesterday that he had worked on more than a dozen books for Lonely Planet, including its titles on Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Chile and South America.

In one case, he said he had not even visited the country he wrote about.

“They didn’t pay me enough to go Colombia,” he said.

That sound you hear at my end is uproarious laughter.

An email to management, posted on the company’s authors’ forum, describes Mr Kohnstamm’s book as “a car crash waiting to happen”.

“Why did you (management) not understand that when you hire a constant stream of new, unvetted people, pay them poorly and set them loose, that someone, somehow was going to screw you?” author Jeanne Oliver wrote.

Well isn’t that a typical selfish point of view?

Lonely Planet, after all, is a business.

And like all businesses in the past thirty of so years, it has only one mission: “maximizing shareholder value.”

What, you think businesses are supposed to exist to, oh I don’t know, create worthwhile goods and services at generally-affordable prices?

How naive you are!

Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - Other, Writers - Living

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