In the publishing house in Ostfildern, the world-famous Marco Polo travel guide with the insider tips. (Photo publishing)

In the publishing house in Ostfildern, the world-famous Marco Polo travel guide with the insider tips. (Photo publishing)

25 years Marco Polo guidebooks

book, Marco Polo, tourism

Everybody who is in on tour worlwide knows the travel boiks with special insider tipps with the well-known name of the venetian traveller Marco Polo! But who came up to this idea and when has the series started?

Meet two in Frankfurt …

Ferdinand Ranft, editor-in-chief and a great figure in the travel guide business, and Volkmar Mair, publisher with passion and travel pioneer from his youth, decided in Frankfurt in 1989, the great coup: They perceived the enormous potential that the development of the travel market offers. They also recognized the need of travelers for compact, inexpensive and smart written travel information. Within a very short space of time, they are developing the first prototype of the Marco Polo tour books, which is launched in 1991. His unique selling point are the insider tips and their authors who live on the spot. It becomes the first compact travelbook in color – and he rolled up the travel book market vigorously.

Why Marco Polo? The publishing house grows up and relocated from Stuttgart to Ostfildern-Kemnat in the early 70s to the new built publishing house. The mayor is so pleased with the growth that he allows the publisher to get his own street name in the new building area. Already in this decision Volkmar Mair proves skill: The discoverer and world traveler Marco Polo connected the Occident and the Orient with each other and always traveled in a peaceful mission. A perfect name for the new location and pioneering for the further development of the publishing house. The name Marco Polo is program. He do not only baptize the street, the publishing house, later on the newly developed tourist guide series but also the company kindergarten Marco Polo Kids.

And today? In the meantime, Marco Polo has renewed six times. The concept and the insider tips have remained, all other contents have adapted to the trends, the wishes of the travelers and the travel market. In the meantime, Marco Polo has been enriched with new features over the years. The map part has been expanded by a removable folding map. The cover of the magazine has been adapted to the spirit of the time and the print guides got an app extension with adventure tours. Last not least Marco Polo reaches over the Internet its huge fan base.

But also the travel behavior has changed completely: many destinations have been added – Ko Samui and Dubai, for example, 1991 were still white spots on the tourist map, and also titles for German cities and regions have been in great demand for several years. In 25 years, more than 100 million Marco Polo travel books have been sold. Every fourth sold travel guide in Germany is a Marco Polo. Top title is Mallorca, followed by Berlin and London.

Over 250 Marco Polo travel guide present all the essential destinations of this world. Always up to date. With real insider tips. MarcoPolo is market leader in Germany and other european countries. The travel books are translated into seven languages, has become state of tthe art for travelling, and are of course available digital – from the travel portal and navigation device to e-books and mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. Marco Polo stands for uncomplicated, compact information and focussed tips with which traveling is simply fun.

further information: to the website of Marco Polo (german)

Hans-Christian Bues

Hans-Christian Bues

Hans-Christian Bues, born in Bad Harzburg, lives and works as a journalist, travel writer and freelance author in Königswinter am Rhein. He has been on the road to the Canadian Yukon region in Alaska, America, Asia, Australia, Russia and many other countries around the world for his reports, travel counts and adventure romans. He is a longtime and experienced traveler, writes regularly vehicle tests and looks after the area of leisure, travel and tourism for D.C.I.
Hans-Christian Bues