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Maureen Wheeler

Maureen and Tony Wheeler are the founders and owners of Lonely Planet Publications. As a newly married couple in 1973, they travelled the so-called "hippy trail," the overland backpacking route from England to Australia. Returning to Sydney with just 27 cents between them, the pair found themselves besieged by friends seeking travel advice. They responded by writing a travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap, and establishing their own publishing business - Lonely Planet Publications - to typeset, sell, promote and distribute the book. Today Lonely Planet Publications is a $55 million business which employs 50 staff around the world and sells over 3 million books a year. A successful website and TV series are among its spin-off assets. The Wheelers still spend 2 to 3 months of every year travelling the world, generally as back-packers, and never flying first-class.

Updated 2018