A phenomenon that causes otherwise unexplainable changes on a place/thing/person/idea simply by its inclusion in the widely used Lonely Planet guide books. These changes are usually in the form of:

  • Inexplicable raises in the price of a hotel/hostel/restaurant/attraction as opposed to other, similar items in the immediate vicinity, often outstripping local inflation rates by several hundred percent. This may lead to constant disagreements between proprietors and patrons over discrepancies between the prices in the guide book and the current prices.
  • Massive increases in turnover for a hostel/restaurant regardless of how many near identical businesses may be located nearby.
  • Otherwise unspoiled, undiscovered locations to attract hordes of backpackers all complaining quite loudly about said location’s sudden discovery. See also Cesky Krumlov and Koh Phangan.
  • Sudden professed knowledge of a culture, history or idea the subject earlier had no idea about. This will quite often lead to arguments with learned scholars, historians and locals over anything contradicting the view of the guidebook.
  • Almost instant alteration of bus, train and ferry timetables so as to bear no resemblance to what is printed in the guidebook. This may happen seconds after the author has noted down said timetable.

While no hard data is available on the phenomenon, a massive amount of anecdotal evidence is available, especially from conversations heard in loud English on any train route accessible with a Eurail Pass. Knowledge of the phenomenon and how to avoid it can lead to lower prices, quiet accommodation and unspoiled locations known only to the locals. Many have found holiday bliss by simply avoiding anything ever printed in the Lonely Planet. Other similar phenomena include The Let’s Go Effect (affecting North American college students) and The Rough Guides Effect.

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