Lonely Planet in retreat - the new 6th Edition Storian - the Vanuatu Aelan Walkabaot blog

By Stephen
January 2010

It's not just the same repackaged content, the new Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia 6th edition is surprising. Just examine the table of contents on their website. A whole province, the Torres and Banks, has been left out. Ambae, Maewo, Erromango and Aneityum have been dropped. I do not recommend the Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia 6th edition because it is incomplete.

The demise of Lonely Planet started perhaps 10 years ago. The last Lonely Planet guidebook I bought was in 2001 or 2002 and I feel no urgency to upgrade. Travellers have changed and Lonely Planet is trying to catch up, moving closer to mainstream tourism, where the money is. BBC Worldwide bought out 75% of Lonely Planet Publications in 2007 and Lonely Planet can no longer claim to be truly independent.

For Vanuatu, the 5th edition Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia is a better buy for adventurous travellers. Read my review. And you're free to print out pages from our website Vanuatu Aelan Walkabaot.

2 Comments | Comment on this article

Stephen wrote:
Finally found a copy of this guidebook. Clearly Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia 6th edition is not a guidebook for Vanuatu outer island travel. It is focussed on Efate (15 pages), Santo (10 pages), Tanna (7 pages) and Malekula (6 pages).
There is only one page of text covering "some other southern islands" (Aneityum, Erromango, Aniwa) and one page for "some other northern islands" (Ambae, Maewo, Gaua, Vanua Lava and Torres). I checked the index and there was no reference for Mota Lava or Tongoa and the Shepherd Islands.
Well, package tourists mostly go to Port Vila and they don't need detailed information on the outer islands. Adventurous travellers need to look elsewhere. The Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia 6th edition is inadequate.
09 March 2012, 03:31

Jocelyn Harewood wrote:
Hi Stephen, I wrote the Vanuatu section of Lonely Planet Vanuatu and New Caledonia 6th edition. If you'd opened the book, you'd see that it is complete. Torres, Banks, Ambae and Maewo are covered under one title - Other Northern Islands. Erromango, Aniwa, Mystery Island and Aneityum under 'Other Southern Islands'. This way I could keep the page count to my limit. I've just seen your comments above because I'm trying to find out the best way to see the Pele giant clam gardens, like, which bungalows should I stay in?
02 February 2012, 04:58

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