I’m Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet. I’m working with Global Heritage Fund to conserve critically endangered historic sites across the globe for future generations of travelers. AMA!
Greetings, Reddit! I’m Tony Wheeler, and I founded Lonely Planet in the 1970s. In the beginning, I was a backpacker with a dream, passion for travel, and 27 cents to my name. Years later, Lonely Planet has grown into the largest guidebook publishing house in the world.
For years, I’ve worked closely with organizations to save historic sites throughout the world. Heritage preservation is a precarious business, and our world’s most vulnerable places can always come under risk. The news has recently been flooded with headlines about ongoing damage to heritage sites. Whether it’s iconic world treasures damaged by pollution, unscrupulous tourists stealing ancient artifacts, or the violent destruction of irreplaceable monuments, it seems that no historic structure or cultural tradition is safe from threats.
I think the passionate audience here on Reddit will agree that the loss of historic sites devastates our collective human history. That’s why I’m passionate about conserving endangered sites and traditions for future generations of travelers, and the San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Heritage Fund is one of my favorite conservation organizations. Their unique approach empowers communities to take ownership of their own history and traditions, creating sustainable economic prosperity to support current and future generations.
I truly believe in the work that Global Heritage Fund is doing and have personally visited many of their project sites throughout the world. I’ve trekked to Ciudad Perdida, Colombia’s “Lost City” that rivals Machu Picchu. I’ve helicoptered to the Maya ruins of El Mirador, Guatemala - see a photo of me in the chopper here! - And I’ve been awestruck by the majestic temples of Göbekli Tepe, the oldest ritual site in the world.
I’m excited to share that we recently setup a deal for Lonely Planet to donate 30% of all online sales using the code GHF30 to Global Heritage Fund, now through June 19. Check out our latest books here and feel free to ask me about my travels. I look forward to your questions! Go ahead…AMA.