Resurrecting a 19th Century Business
Arthur Frommer is sitting on a 21st century gold mineAugust 27, 2013 By Denny Hatch
Travel anywhere—or visit the travel section of a bookstore—and you'll run across the name Arthur Frommer. He is the publisher of guidebooks, travel books and maps.
The very first title was: The G.I.'s Guide to Traveling in Europe by Pfc. Arthur Frommer. Printed in Germany, this 74-page paperback was published January 1, 1955 with a retail price of 50¢. It is now available as a curiosity for $199.99 and up. [See the first image in the media player at right.]
Two years later, Frommer brought out an expanded edition—174 pages—as Europe on 5 Dollars a Day. It took off. It changed how Americans viewed travel and established Arthur Frommer as a major force in travel publishing.
Enter "Frommer" into amazon.com and you'll get 6,049 results. Go to Arthur Frommer's website and you'll have the entire world at your fingertips—where and how to go, where to stay, where to eat and drink, what to see and do.
I would bet this is the world's greatest database of the world for the traveler—continually updated and invaluable.
Arthur Frommer's 11-Month Romance With Google
Google made another foray into producing original content Monday when it announced its plans to buy the Frommer's brand of travel guides from John Wiley & Sons to augment its local and travel search results.
Google will pay about $23 million for the brand, according to a person close to the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly about the terms. The companies declined to comment on the purchase price. It is a small acquisition for Google, but important for several of Google's up-and-coming businesses. —Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, Aug. 13, 2012
The last two Frommer's books to roll off the presses were guides in the all-color Day-by-Day series devoted to Napa and Sonoma and Banff and the Rockies, and went on sale in early February. The last book in the traditional complete guide series was Frommer's Florida. —Jason Clampet, SKIFT, Mar. 21, 2013