The release of .travel domain names is generating excitement throughout the hospitality and travel industries. Pre-registration for .travel domains began July 1, 2005. All pre-registrations will be submitted to the .Travel registry on September 1.
One of the most appealing attributes of these domain names is that businesses using a .travel domain are guaranteed to be in a designated sector of the travel industry. The domain names will be released only to those businesses, organizations or individuals whose primary activity is within one of eighteen business sectors of the travel industry is eligible to register a name. Click here to see a list of the approved sectors. Notably, one can only register a name that is publicly used by, or associated with, the particular organization, and abbreviated names are apparently not allowed.
Because of the relatively small market to which they are offered, these domains come at a premium price – around $100 per year, as well as any authorization fees that might be incurred initially. This many times the cost of a more standard domain. Who will benefit the most from the .travel domain? The release of .travel domains offers a good opportunity for new travel businesses that lack a domain name, as well as established business with a domain they don’t like. These domains also offer an opportunity to protect a brand name – you can bet that Carnival Cruise Lines, for instance, will buy something like www.carnivalcruises.travel, and they offer travel businesses a chance to grab a piece of a popular (generic) brand, like victorianinn.travel, that isn’t available in other domain extensions like .com and .org.
To register a .Travel domain name you must first be approved to hold that domain name. Specific travel associations serving as authentication providers for their members. Please review this list to see if you’re a member of an approved authenticating association. If you are not a member of any of these associations, contact one of the registrars; they will put you in contact with an independent authentication provider.
Those of you who have registered a domain name in the past know that this registration process is much more extensive than for the more common domains. Couple this with the increased cost, and it’s possible that many travel businesses, especially smaller ones, may forego the opportunity to purchase a .travel domain name. While we see a benefit for some businesses to invest in such a domain name, we feel that it’s ok to hold off on purchasing one of these domains unless you’re determined to purchase one and/or your business fits one or more of the criteria listed above.