Seven months on from its sale by the BBC, Lonely Planet has made its first acquisition by snapping up travel planning startup TouristEye.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition perhaps marks a new strategy for the print and online guide giant following its own acquisition by Nc2 Media in March this year.
TouristEye co-founder Ariel Camus says:
"As entrepreneurs and travelers it's a dream come true to become part of Lonely Planet. It's the perfect combination of humble beginnings, an amazing brand and exciting challenges that await us."
Launched in 2010 at the height of the trip planning startup frenzy (TLabs here), TouristEye was one many new businesses looking to capture consumer eyeballs and allow them to build their own trips through content and sharing through social networks.
Lonely Planet says the acquisition was made because of TouristEye's expertise in mobile and online community building and the team will be tasked with helping it "create and build innovative travel products".
The Thorn Tree is Lonely Planet's existing forum and community.
Camus says the TouristEye brand will continue to operate and the company "will work with LP’s technology team to marry our technology and community with theirs where and when it makes sense".
TouristEye claims to have a community of its own of some 500,000 travellers, using both its desktop and mobile applications - its Android app is being updated next week, Camus says.
Gus Balbontin, chief technology officer at Lonely Planet, says:
"This represents a significant step in our journey towards becoming a multi-platform travel content and commerce business, creating inspiring and trustworthy information for travellers and solving their travel problems."