The travel publisher, which employs 500 people worldwide, will axe 10% of staff. The majority of the job losses will be in Australia with six positions likely to go in the UK and several in the US.

Angela Wilkinson, media and communications manager in the UK, said the job cuts were "due to the global economic climate". She added, "we are taking these measures to ensure we can manage during these times".

Lonely Planet, which is 75% owned by BBC Worldwide, said it was consulting with its employees. Some positions will be made redundant whereas others will not have their contracts renewed. The main areas affected will be IT and online with the publisher "changing the scope" of some jobs.

According to Nielsen Bookscan travel book sales dropped by 8.7% in 2008 when compared with 2007.