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Lonely Planet acquires travel planning startup TouristEye

TouristEye, a startup mobile app that enables people to plan trips and discover things to do has been acquired by travel guide mammoth Lonely Planet.

The move is part of a shift by Lonely Planet to push further into the digital realm and broaden its portfolio.

TouristEye was founded in by a group of Spanish entrepreneurs in 2010, with the aim of creating the first app which allows users to create tailored guides and discover new things to do while traveling.

A key feature of TouristEye is that you can build an itinerary before going abroad that can then be viewed offline - so avoiding pricey roaming costs.

"Collect places, destinations and activities and plan your trips and weekend getaways in seconds. More than 500,000 people have already traveled with TouristEye taking all the information and maps on their iPhone & Android without internet," the firm explains.

Although TouristEye received a boost when it raised a modest $500,000 through 500 Startups Accelerator, Plug And Play Innovation Center, and a group of European angels, it has struggled to compete with the big players such as Lonely Planet which already has a series of travel apps.

For Lonely Planet, the acquisition looks to be talent based - a way of getting some mobile expertise on board as people increasingly ditch the travel book in favour of smartphone and tablet apps.