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HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Swiftrank changes name to TravelShark

The online travel startup sheds old name for much cooler name and gets a mascot, t-shirts, and really pumped employees.

Weary of constantly explaining the meaning of the name “Swiftrank” and of having to spell it out to everyone, Swiftrank today announced the launch of its new moniker, “TravelShark.” TravelShark also introduced its new online presence at www.TravelShark.com, where you’ll find video coverage of the dramatic and touching stories behind the name change.

Underscoring the depth of its commitment to the new identity, TravelShark added what it believes will be the fiercest mascot for any online travel company on land or sea – “Mako Mark the TravelShark” (pictured). The company still owns and manages the same leading global travel network of 12,000 destination-based websites, but it now has a much cooler name. Company officials are confident that in a duel, Mako Mark would dispense with a garden gnome, claymation figures, or any original Star Trek cast member with minimal effort.

“Sure, I can list a wealth of complex strategic reasons for the rebrand and depict the forecasted impact on detailed graphs, but the truth is, we had a less-than-optimal name and found a better one,” said CEO Sue Heilbronner. “Having a resonant name has opened the door to new possibilities for marketing and brand development unavailable until now.”

On the business front, TravelShark is developing new branded online products and services in travel. Internally, having TravelShark t-shirts that employees actually wear doesn’t hurt either. The spike in team morale is unprecedented; employees look and feel cooler already. The sales team has expressed relief at having to deal with fewer questions on cold calls, like “huh?” or “what’s a swift?” (it’s a bird). The marketing group is happily wading through a list of potential shark giveaways for the upcoming HITEC show.

By any name, the company is serious about continuing the rapid growth of its global online travel business. TravelShark has been experiencing significant growth since its official launch in June 2010. The company now works directly with more than 600 hotels, hotel ownership groups, brands, and hospitality agencies to feature select hotels on TravelShark sites and drive consumer bookings to Featured Hotel Program partners. TravelShark operates in every major and middle market city in the world, generating traffic and revenues for hotels on every continent. 

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