Besides my review of Frommer's "France Color Complete Guide." permit me to share my own opinionated view of how monumental it is for the Frommers to get these guidebooks out.
After looking over the new France and Spain books, I had some advice for Pauline Frommer on what to include in future editions—I told her to include a little bio page about the Frommers, their history and what they are doing now. She responded very politely and told me that real estate in books is valuable. Basically, I took it as her saying there was no space for bragging—and that really sums up the Frommers well. There's to be no wasted space in a guidebook travelers need. The back story, though, of how these new Complete Guides came to be is incredible.
Arthur Frommer totally revolutionized travel to Europe for Americans. Not only were the "Europe on $5 a Day" and Frommers succeeding guidebooks helpful and useful, they also extolled the virtues of budget travel, and why the experience would be valuable. Meeting locals, staying where Europeans stay, going to locally-popular restaurants, and packing light are just some of the ideas that got into American travel culture because of Arthur. Frommer showed how European travel was possible for middle -class Americans and even poorer ones.
Throughout the years, Frommer's changed ownership and expanded to various destinations around the world. But the original budget focus and passion for travel was still there. Arthur's daughter, Pauline Frommer, inherited her father's passion for travel and his work ethic .She's a great writer and researcher in her own right and came out with a line of guidebooks of her own for Frommers while it was owned by John Wiley's.
Fast forward though to the last few years. Wiley's owned Frommers turned into a vastly different company then what Arthur had started . In my opinion, the budget focus was all but gone, and it seemed they no longer wanted to be in the travel guidebook business; the whole travel guidebook industry in general was hurting. It appeared to me that Wiley's was neglecting many aspects of the company: the website, guidebook updates, social media sites and more. That was the state it was in when Wiley sold Frommer's to Google. Google decided to not publish guidebooks anymore and just use the existing info in reviews on other Google sites. They also wanted the Frommer's followers on various social media sites.
And then, suddenly, it was announced the Frommers had bought back the company from Google last year, and this hard task of rebuilding would be ahead of them. It was basically starting over. User forum posts were gone, social media accounts had to be restarted,etc. And the guidebook business had to be reinvented. Within a short period though,some guidebooks were back and this fall they will have over 56 titles coming out. It's a remarkable return.
To see more about Arthur Frommer's remarkable influence on travel, see this interview with Britain's Daily Mail, where this picture of Arthur and baby Pauline appeared.
And to read the " Review of Latest "Frommers France Guide" click HERE