Reference and nonfiction publisher Dorling Kindersley is selling travel publisher Rough Guides to APA Publications, the publisher of Insight Guides, Berlitz and more than 700 travel publications, the Bookseller reported. DK chief executive Ian Hudson said the move stemmed from "a wide-ranging travel publishing review," and that the company has begun consultation with "its 30 staff who work on Rough Guides." While APA Publications has reportedly "agreed to take the whole [Rough Guides] team," Georgina Dee, DK's publishing director for travel, will remain with the company.
Rough Guides was founded in 1981 and published its first guidebook in 1982. Today it offers guidebooks to more than 120 locations around the world and phrasebooks for 18 languages. It also debuted a podcast earlier this year. APA Publications chief executive René Frey said that although long-term plans for Rough Guides have not been fully formed, "we know the strategic idea makes a lot of sense and we are confident we can integrate the team quickly to run the business to keep it alive."
Following years of decline from 2007 to 2014, the travel guide market overall grew in 2015 and 2016, but the volume of books sold has been down and value has been flat so far in 2017, reported The Bookseller. DK's travel publishing arm is "down by 6% for the year to date" after five years of steady sales, and for APA Publications, Berlitz has "been in decline for the last four years" while Insight Guides has seen an increase in sales this year.