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'Lonely Planet' writer claims he made up tales of travel exploits

UPI News Service, 04/13/2008 

"Lonely Planet" writer Thomas Kohnstamm has revealed he provided the Australian guidebook group with fictional tales of his travel exploits.

The Sunday Telegraph reported Kohnstamm maintains he not only made up significant portions of his "Planet" works but sold drugs to earn extra money while working for the travel publisher.

In his book, "Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?," Kohnstamm details how he allegedly would fabricate information on travel destinations rather than actually visit them.

"They didn't pay me enough to go Colombia," he wrote in the book about one of his allegedly fabricated journeys.

An e-mail in the name of "Planet" chief Janet Slater said the guidebook company, which sells more than 6 million books annually, would be investigating Kohnstamm's allegations thoroughly.

"If we find that the content has been compromised, we'll take urgent steps to fix it," the e-mail reads. "Once we've got things right for travelers as quickly as we can, we'll look at what we do and how we do it to ensure as best we can, that this type of thing never happens again.''

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International


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