Lonely Planet taking some heat

The popular Lonely Planet is taking some heat for their new Blue List book. The New York Post (Dec. 20, 2005) writes that the book contains “three pages of anti-American cliches, portraying us all as obese, idiot war-mongers obsessed with dieting, nude vacations and raucous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.” I suppose it’s worth noting here (as the Post does) that Lonely Planet is an Australia-based company.

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  1. Gail Alexander says:

    I am an American 52 year old women and YES- We are terribly overweight( and we know it) Never before in History had we started a war- until now.We are obsessed with dieting as we should be-considering the weight problem we have here. These are all true facts. Just because someone outside our country is saying it should not upset us. We know itis true and we agree with them. No country is perfect and these are the items we need to work on. Nude vacations? Rowdy St. Pattys day? If that is the truth -Great. Sounds like we have fun. We can not be so sensitive to other peoples opinions. What we need to do is listen to what they are saying. Maybe we can learn from it.

  2. John Gamash says:

    Obviously, Lonely Planet doesn’t need my business and my patronage of their publications stops today. Unfair, irrational generalizations only serve to illustrate their ignorance.

  3. theoman1 says:

    I have used Lonely Planet guides and I love their travel forum http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/. When someone talks badly about you, there are a couple of choices that you can make. One, ask “Is what they are saying is true?” If so, then you have something to work on. If not, then don’t worry about what others say. Live your life in an honorable fashion and let your actions thwart your critics.

  4. Jack Kennard says:

    Well I’m an American and I’m over weight. and I can do something about it.

    I’m not sure I understand the comment about the US starting a war. Can someone explain that?

  5. John Walker says:

    While it is true that many Americans are over weight and warmongers, as Iraq is not the first war we have started or supported, who are the Australians to criticize Americans for partying hard on St. Patrick’s Day and for nude vacations. I have traveled extensively and one thing that I can say is that the Aussies love to party!!! What a bunch of hypocrites; in fact, that don’t need a holiday to get drunk and seem very proud of the fact that their beer is so mucher higher in alcohol content than Budweiser. Also, I do beleive their Prime Minister has been behind Bush a 100 percent, which sickens me. More than likely had Howard and Blair not go along with Bush, we would not be in Iraq.

    In addition, I often see drunk Aussies, English, Germans, Dutch, and any other Anglosajon pissing off some SPanish or French waiter. Northern Europeans or Aussies behave no worse or better than Americans when traveling.

    Generlizations are dangerous, as I am a 40 year old US Citizen in great shape. Also, I speak three languages, drink moderately, respect other cultures, and don’t support Bush or aggressive US policies.

    Furthermore, I get tired of hearing complaints about American food. Stay out of the junk food places when you are here. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from that offer good quality food. Many American cities offer great food i.e. Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Maryland, and many more.


    John Walker

  6. JD Smith says:

    Actually, the comment from the New York Times didn’t say that the Lonely Planet criticized Americans for nude vacations or for partying hard. It just said that, of all the ways that you can describe Americans, these were the aspects that Lonely Planet chose to highlight.

    What do you want in three pages out of an entire book? There are lots of ways to describe Americans, some are very complimentary, some are not. Lonely Planet’s opinion is just that, one writer’s opinion.

    I think this article says far more about how over-sensitive the New York Post is, rather than how critical the Lonely Planet is.

  7. Terry Daluge says:

    In my humble opinion the New York Post writes many ill received writings anyway. As for me I am a 51yr old male retired Navy I have been in 72 different countries .I say these great United states are still your best bet for a great Vacation. My wife and I will be going on An Alaskan Cruse this June. I was there in 1979.I wonder how much it has changed since I was there. Maybe if any of ya’ll have been there maybe you could make a post about your travels.

  8. Odin says:

    Our biggest problem is our own naysayers in America (including our mainstream press and some on this blog), who perpetuate these views accurate or not. If you travel extensively, the best thing you can do is to act responsibly and treat people with respect. You are our best ambassadors. Even if those in another country hold some of these views,they rarely if ever would say these things to you.

    Travel as much as you can – it changes you and your view of the world. Based on the nature of this blog, it would be best to keep our politics to ourselves.

  9. lorrie boutet says:

    The entire earth and the present civilization is experiencing an extensive transmutation.

    Maybe the time is now to cesate misidentifying each other with labels and inaccurate accessments.

    Each person has their own work to do to facilitate the improvement of the conditions on the earth. Each person concentrating on their own issues and utilizing effective methodologies can yield a more rapid upliftment of civilization.

    The present moment is the time for more constructive practical application and less nonbeneficial chatter.

  10. crocuhing kitty says:

    don’t delete me post – u don’t believe the kitty when i say ian rules!

  11. crouching kitty says:

    don’t delete me post – u don’t believe the kitty when i say ian rules!

  12. Mixa says:

    I guess someone in America doesn’t get Lonely Planet’s sense of humor. They make fun of every county in their books. What’s the big deal? Relax people.

  13. farley maple says:

    i think every body needs to get a grip! if u want a good story u need to look more at the goerment and the (senators). get in to our goverment or they will leave us behind. australians desend from convict’s they have no need to talk about how we live

  14. Amy Englefield says:

    Why do we care so much about what other countries and cultures think about us? Is the reason you are all so offended because there is an element of truth to these generalizations? Every culture in the world generates stereotypes about others.

    I am a trained anthropologist and have traveled extensivley. Having been embarrased by the behavior of my fellow americans throught the world, the advice I can give to you is to stop being so sensitive and start behaving like a citizen of the world. Treat others with respect and you will generate respect. Yes, stereotypes are dangerous, they are also useful and they aren’t going away. Be yourself, treat others with courtesy and repect while traveling, and in your own backyard. And besides, are there any one of you who have posted who have never said, or even thought a stereotypical thought?

    I agree with Mixa. Relax!

  15. Todd says:

    We are very fit Americans currently in Granada, Nicaragua. We started our trip 8 months ago in China. We have visited 16 countries on this trip and have been to many others in the past. We have yet to be naked in public and had not really considered it. Maybe we should… thanks for the idea.

    While americans are definately overweight as a population, the fatest travelers we have met so far have been Aussies. That said, fat people are more fun as a general rule… they are busy looking that themselves in the mirror.

    Regarding travel, Americans overall don’t have enough holiday time making international travel difficult at best. That said, one of the worst travelers we have had the pleasure of “encountering” was unfortunately an American… a skinny one actually. She was very much out of her comfort zone.

    Americans also need a lessen in Aussy “culture” as most of us don’t realize that Aussies verbally beat each other and everyone else up as a rule. It is part of the deal. Vanity is very much discouraged in Oz which ain’t a bad thing.

    So, get over yourselves as Aussies are already over you.

    Finally, in our travels, we have had spotty luck with the accuracy of Lonely Planet. We have heard their books refered to by other travelers as “Lying Planet”. We have also heard that many of their writers don’t actually do any leg work… they party their bumbs off and ask third parties for information to put in their guides. In summary, Rough Guides have been more reliable. Check em out.


  16. marc says:

    fat chics can be very hot, beer and EUROPEAN nude beaches are great. Australians are cool as hell. And if it werent for us Irish-American war mongers love of a good fight you’d ALL be speaking GERMAN/JAPANESE so love life like we do.


    a fellow AMERICAN

  17. St. Patrick says:

    the gold found in the red bull dust of the outback between coolgardie and kalgoorlie could be found with a radio shack metal detector. it is bright orange. now, you know i’m telling the truth. hoover was a mining engineer in western australia. one of my favorite experiences is having fish n chips drenched in lemon juice and salt. dineing while watching the surf. stayin up all night and falling asleep on the beach with the sound of the waves. it was very theraputic.

  18. Eiluned says:

    It amuses me that some of the people commenting here are getting up in arms and claiming that they’ll never buy a Lonely Planet guide again because those darn Australians are “making unfair, irrational generalizations.” Because Americans never, ever do that. I mean, the French really do wear striped shirts and berets, and the Australians all wrestle crocodiles.

    Please, get off of your patriotic high horses. I’m an American and I can accept criticism of our cultural stereotype. I can deal with it.

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