About four years ago an initiative was began to establish a reliable space on the Internet exclusively for the travel and tourism industry to better conduct e-commerce. Today, ICANN (the body responsible for the stability and integrity of the Internet) has approved the industry-sponsored top-level domain, .travel . Registrations for .travel domain names (the Start-Up Phase) will begin as soon as the second quarter of 2005.
What is .travel?
.travel promises to lift tourism and hospitality out of the anonymity of a “.com” web. Unlike “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.co.uk” or any of the other top-level domain names (known as “TLDs”) available on the Internet today, .travel will represent a reliable space where everyone the world over will know that authenticated travel businesses can be found. This industry-exclusive TLD will ensure that all .travel web sites will be hosted by bona fide travel-related businesses/organizations only. In addition to protection against cyber-squatting, .travel naming conventions will also eliminate speculative purchases of registrations.
Why is it necessary?
There are four compelling reasons:
- Size of the industry – International tourism is equal to the global export of automobiles; employs three times as many as people as the communications industry; accounts for 10% of all international trade, 5% of total global economic output and leads online transactions at 28.5% of the total.
- The ubiquity of the Internet – Travel is woven into the global business and social fabric of life. The online population in 2004 was more than 3,000 times the number of people who were online just eight years ago (now standing at over 750 million) and its growth rate is an astounding 20 million newcomers per quarter.
- The radical shift in consumer demographics – “Travelers of tomorrow” want to be able to locate precise information to make informed decisions. With 58% of Internet users believing that they can get the best rates online the key consumers – now and in the future – will be those with access to high-speed Internet connectivity because this group wants to “personalize” their travel experience by designing their own vacations.
- The amount of “searching” taking place on the Net – T ravel accounts for more Internet searches than any other industry with over 168,000,000 searches a month. By way of comparison, books, music, movies, and tickets combined account for the second most number of searches with 164,000,000 per month.
Who is behind .travel? Tralliance Corporation and the travel and tourism industry through The Travel Partnership Corporation (TTPC).
The travel and tourism community is the most important part of the .travel TLD as its members will be the registrants and users of .travel , as well as a source for its policies. TTPC, is a non-profit corporation whose membership is derived from travel and tourism industry associations, and all bona fide associations are eligible to become members. Representing the broad cross-section of the travel industry, TTPC has been formed to provide the platform for dialogue within and between the various sectors of the industry and to assist Tralliance in establishing naming conventions for the .travel top level domain space.
Operation of the .travel TLD is carried out by Tralliance Corporation , the administrator of the Registry and the .travel Directory . Tralliance intends to actively work with all sectors of the travel industry to build the .travel Registry to meet the varied Internet needs of our travel community.