The death of the guidebook?

I posted a story a while back about Virgin offering audio guides to people flying to certain cities. Here is an update to that story

Is this the end for the guidebook? Publishers are reporting huge demand for their newly launched ‘podcasts’ – audio guides to foreign destinations which you download from the internet onto your iPod or MP3 player. Lonely Planet, which released its first podcast three months ago, claims that one of its audio guides proved so popular that it reached number 12 in the download chart, beating a single from Madonna.

As well as publishers such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, podcasts are being produced by tour operators like Thomson Holidays, airlines and individual tourist boards. ‘Why do you need a guidebook if you can download the information onto your iPod and listen on the plane?’ said Miles Morgan, marketing director of Thomson Holidays.

More than 80,000 people have already downloaded podcasts produced by Virgin Atlantic and by the end of 2006 the airline will have produced 30 guides.

The Observer | Travel | The hot topic: The death of the guidebook?

One Response to “The death of the guidebook?”

  1. chris2x Says:

    As the host of a travel podcast (the Amateur Travaler) I like it when the press writes about the death of the guidebook but I don’t believe it.

    1) A podcast does not make as good of reference material as a book does.
    2) Some of us are visual learners not auditory learners.
    3) How long would it take to read out loud all of the information in a Frommer’s or Fodor’s guidebook? That is how long it would take to listen to it.

    I think that podcasts can be a wonderful source of travel ideas. I think they can be a great source of travel information. But the death of the guidebook? I doubt it.

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