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Travel Buddies

With more Indians packing their travel bags, travelogues are now new money-spinners, writes Sonal Srivastava.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 15:49 IST

Travelogues have probably now ceased to be just voluminous tomes with breathtaking pictures and price tag, to be leafed through at leisure at libraries and bookstores. As publishers will tell you, travelogues have emerged as new money-spinners, especially during vacation time.

More and more Indians are turning the pages of travel books to plan their holidays and get a virtually real idea of what a destination has in store for them. Affirms SK Singh of Oxford Bookstore, “After fiction and children’s books, travel books are picked up, especially during the holiday season.

Travel guides and books on weekend getaways are popular among people from all walks of life.”

The new big thing

Of course, publishers haven’t missed the trend. Says Kapish Mehra of Rupa & Company, “We have already sold more than three thousand sets of travel books by Koko Singh.

Books on Uttaranchal were moving off the racks even in winters. Glimpses Of Architecture In Kerela and Temples of South India too did well.” Pramod Kapoor of Roli Books agrees: “Our publication, Delhi A Thousand Year Of Building has done very well. We have more travel books in the pipeline. And the business travel niche is going to be the next big thing in the travel segment.”

Harper Collins Travel India guide on Goa, Himachal, Kerala, Ladakh, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal “sold more than 1,500 sets,” according to Ratna Joshi of Harper Collins.

Apart from these, Lonely Planet guides and books on weekend getaways are quite popular too.

Raison d’etre

The reasons behind travelogues turning into new money-spinners are not too far to seek.

Says Mehra: “Today, Indians are travelling more than before and they want to be armed with information on the destination they are headed to. They look for information on exotic destinations too.”

Travelogues are being considered a safe bet not just for the publishers but for bookstores too. Says Abhay Arora of Bookworm lounge, “As for fiction, every month a new best seller is in the market and there is pressure to sell the stock before a new one hits the stores.

With travel books, the publishers and store owners are assured of selling them even later as they are more of a collector’s item.” With the Indian traveller getting into the travel mode, travelogues are sure making their presence felt on the shelves.