BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, leading online global travel network TravelShark acquired eat.shop guides, an international publisher of independent, hyper-local travel guides for the world's top travel destinations. The acquisition gives TravelShark eat.shop's visually powerful, curated content related to thousands of unique and "unexpected" dining and shopping venues in 30 cities around the world. TravelShark will retain the book business, and it will extend the success of eat.shop guides by exposing the print content for the first time in the digital realm.
TravelShark plans to expand the reach of the business with the addition of 100 new cities in the next year. The company will integrate eat.shop's original content into its major-market websites, a range of new travel products it is developing in the area of trip planning, and new mobile applications designed for travelers who enjoy discovering the local flavor of a destination on their smartphones and tablets.
"TravelShark is excited to be at the forefront of the trend favoring original content in travel, most recently reflected by Google's acquisition of Zagat," said Sue Heilbronner, TravelShark's CEO. "Web users are craving curated, original content about unique places to see on their next trip, and eat.shop's content - which has never appeared online - fills a void for travelers weary of seeing the same old repurposed online content when they are researching their next vacation."
Launched in 2006 by founder and CEO Kaie Wellman, eat.shop guides has print distribution in bookstores and gift stores around the world. In addition, the company has grown a private-label publishing business, creating branded editions of its city guides for large companies and hotel chains. As part of the acquisition, Wellman joins TravelShark as Head Curator and will continue to develop this brand of hyper-local content for print and online under the eat.shop brand and TravelShark's new "As a Local" sub-brand, which will appear on sites like www.BostonHotels.com and www.SeattleHotels.com.
"TravelShark is the ideal partner for the next phase of eat.shop guides' growth," said Wellman. "My team has been extremely successful in building this brand through a network of talented travel editors who research, write, and photograph, giving travelers an amazing sense of place and discovery. TravelShark allows us to leverage what we've created in more markets and in new digital and mobile channels that we look forward to exploring."
"The addition of Kaie and eat.shop guides is a tremendous step in creating the richest hyper-local travel-planning network on the web," added Heilbronner. "eat.shop guides has earned its loyal following by featuring one-of-a-kind, off-the-beaten-path local landmarks, presented in a way that embraces fun and simplicity. We are delighted to add these kinds of resources to the TravelShark brand and to our consumer offerings."
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
For more information on TravelShark and its online global travel network, please visit www.travelshark.com.
About TravelShark | TravelShark is the world's largest online travel network, with thousands of location-based travel websites for destinations around the globe. TravelShark connects global travelers with hyper-local travel solutions and memorable trips. The Company's sites generate profitable revenue for travel companies by driving direct bookings for hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas and more through its Featured Hotel Program. The TravelShark network includes major-market, content-rich sites like LasVegasHotels.com, SingaporeHotels.com.sg and HotelLondon.com. TravelShark is headquartered in Singapore, with a U.S. office in Boulder, Colorado. To learn more about how TravelShark can work for your property or travel company, please visit www.travelshark.com, or call +1-720-239-1280.
About eat.shop guides: Founded in Portland, Oregon, by Parsons School of Design graduate Kaie Wellman in 2003, eat.shop guides is the leading publisher of stylish city guides that feature an eclectic mix of unique and authentic local businesses. eat.shop guides highlight between 90-130 unique dining and shopping "finds" in 30 of the world's most interesting destinations. The guides and the "gems" they feature are treasured by travelers and locals alike. Learn more at www.eatshopguides.com.
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