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Lonely Planet's permanent shutdown of Thorn Tree

Wasn't sure how to shoehorn this news onto this forum, hence this quasi-related landing. Its gone, finally gone. Many travelers found Lonely Planet's award-winning Thorn Tree Forum to be of great value these past couple of decades. Our Kathy here and I were but two. The end of an era.
Wonder how original founders (and no-longer-owners) Tony and Maureen feel about this decision?
I am done. the end

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/landing...anet-community

Posted by
5976 posts

gregglamarsh, did they give a reason why? Victim of COVID? Uncivility? I can't follow the "forbidden" link, so must be members only.

Posted by
9801 posts

They weren't making any money from the Forum. But what they have chosen to "replace" it can all be moneymakers for them. And, let's face it, some people got their questions answered on the forum rather than buy a guidebook.

The company that owns Lonely Planet also owns other media sites including The Points Guy, CNET, Healthline and Bankrate.

Posted by
2789 posts

Re Frank's post: I often get the feeling on RS Forum that there are people who want others to plan their trips for them instead of buying and using a guidebook themselves.

Posted by
244 posts

Stan, to answer your query...
The link does not fully flesh out an explanation, probably by design. As others have pointed out above, it certainly was a money decision.
I am done. the end.

Posted by
139 posts

fyi If you google something like "lonely planet thorn tree" you can find the page that gives the official announcement even though using the direct link leads to a "forbidden" message.

Posted by
1163 posts

This is sad. I have found some great help on the Thorn Tree Forum. I even made a friend on the forum - a British expat in Spain that we met up with on our trip to Ronda in 2009. He took us on a wonderful tapas crawl in Ronda and out into the countryside to visit a small Gothic church.

Posted by
9801 posts

It actually costs money to run a forum. When I had my website active, I put in a forum and it was a daily chore to go through it and clean up the spam, rude postings, etc. And mine wasn't that busy. I can only imagine how many hours are spent going through a forum like this one. I give Rick and his staff kudos for keeping it going.

But whenever a "family run" business gets sold to a larger company, it's important to cut costs and maximize revenue.

Posted by
12494 posts

Yo, Z---- AKA Gregglamarsh! :O)

YOU are not done (I hope!!) but it seems that TT is toast. So this is part of what the front page says:

This certainly isn’t the end of Lonely Planet’s community. We hope
you’ll join us on our social channels to continue the conversation. In
particular, our Lonely Planet Facebook Travelers Group is the place to
share questions and get advice when planning travel. You’ll also find
us on Twitter, Instagram and our new TikTok account.

Well, good for them. I'm not interested in those social media services and don't use them but as TT appealed to younger travelers than RS tends to draw, and to a broader international community, maybe they'll be fine without the traditional forum. It's sad, though, as this is the second in a group of interesting travel communities, in forum form, I've belonged to that has bit the dust; the owner of Trip Advisor trashed the other one. It's not like LP isn't going to have to spend $$ to manage activity on all 4 of those listed services.

Gregg, I haven't actually logged in to see if they allowed some hue and cry from the tribe before pulling the plug?

Posted by
12494 posts

Just to add...
I'd been reading grumblings about the L.P. guidebooks for some time, the biggest complaint being that too much content in the previously venerated "backpackers bibles" had become outdated. Secondly, what's being published too often lacks enough detail to be useful, isn't written from firsthand experience, and generally isn't offering much that can't be found elsewhere. But you can't believe everything you hear so I'll defer to heavy users of the books. ????

Whatever, it's a really lousy time to bizbag one their most valuable assets (Thorn Tree) right about the time travel is picking up.

Posted by
6717 posts

For some reason I never got into travel forums, I don't even know how I found this one except that I liked to read the Graffiti Wall postings way back when...but I've always liked Lonely Planet books and found them perfectly fine and useful for my needs. This forum is too narrow to satisfy travelers who want to go way beyond Europe. I'm not surprised that there is diruption and upheaval now, and rethinking of how to use scarce business resources for maximum effect. If there's a need for the type and variety of info that Thorntree provided (and I think there is), something else (or the alternatives mentioned) will fill the gap and people will adapt.

Posted by
18896 posts

I haven't been terribly impressed with the Lonely Planet guides to Italy I've used in the last few years. The editing was pretty weak; I found internal inconsistencies on factual matters like how often buses run or how long they take. My guess is that when they update information they don't do a good job of finding all the places where a change needs to be made. The result is that you get different info depending on whether you check the section of the book for your origin or your destination. I was also irritated that LP's instructions for getting the public bus from Palermo to Monreale simply gave me the name of the square from which the bus departed without indicating which side of the square. I ended up walking almost the entire way around the square looking for the bus stop. I missed Rick's precise directions; this happened before the release of his guide to Sicily.

Posted by
2789 posts

one of my favorite parts of Rick's guidebooks is the detailed info on transportation options.