Ok, so this LP thing is everywhere now. There are AP articles on the Yahoo homepage. Polls being given about the trustfullness of guidebooks. Boycotts of Do Travel Writers Go To Hell: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics & Professional Hedonism . An interview with Kohnstamm at World Hum (which I have to give them credit for getting). And even a rebuttal of sorts from Lonely Planet.
So, what does it all mean and what to think? In the World Hum interview Kohnstamm clarifies that he was only writing the history, culture, food sections of the Colombia guide. So, he wasn’t expected to go there (even though he claimed it was because he wasn’t paid enough). He previously said he made opening times and mundane facts up. Now it is that he used the internet and other resources for this input. He admits he did take freebies, but not in exchange for postive coverage. So, this was all about book publicity that got blown out of proportion. Seems like it is working. It’s sad he had to throw LP and the rest of the guidebook world under the bus to do it, though. Surely there is a better way.
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On a side note, Kohnstamm is giving a travel writing workshop at the 2008 Sydney Writer’s Festival entitled: Approaches to Place. Space is limited to 20.