Domain names for the hotel business

HOTEL Top-Level-Domain Advisory Board constituted

HOTEL Top-Level-Domain held the first meeting of its international Advisory Board at the International Tourist Fair ITB in Berlin on March 9, 2011. The Board shall advise, support and make recommendations for the policies and operations of the coming .hotel Top-Level-Domain which will provide an exclusive name space for the global hotel industry. The international composition of the .hotel Advisory Board is designed to ensure that the interests of the global hotel community are being represented in a balanced way.

The board members each represent significant parts of the global hotel community, with one member representing the domain name business. The founding members are:

  • Dr Ghassan Aidi, President of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association IH&RA,
  • Joe McInerney, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association AH&LA,
  • Markus Luthe, member of the executive committee of the European hotel association HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe),
  • and Philipp Grabensee, Chairman of the Board of Afilias for the domain name industry.

Fritz Dreesen, President of the German hotel association IHA, attended the meeting as an observer.


From left to right: Markus Luthe (Member of Executive Committee HOTREC), Katrin Ohlmer (Managing Director HOTEL Top-Level-Domain), Fritz G. Dreesen (Chair of the Board IHA), Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek (Managing Director HOTEL Top-Level-Domain), Phillip Grabensee (Chair of the Board, Afilias), Joseph A. McInerney (President and CEO AH&LA)

A central task for the board will be to help design the registration policies of the new name space in order to protect the legitimate rights of trademark and brand owners from the hotel industry. Guided by globally recognized best practices for brand protection and the participation in the creation of Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) at the global oversight organization for all top-level domains, ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers,, HOTEL Top-Level-Domain will implement measures to prevent cyber-squatting in the .hotel namespace.

Beyond the RPMs that ICANN will deploy in new namespaces .hotel will create a protected Hotel Marks list. Trademarks of large hotel chains will be put on a list of reserved names, thus ensuring that only the legitimate rights holder is able to register these names as a .hotel domain name.

The concept of this protection mechanism was already announced at the 39th meeting of ICANN in Cartagena in December 2010, where .hotel managing director Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek told a global audience: “We understand the concerns of trademark owners with regard to defensive registrations and we have discussed this issue with our partners in the hotel industry. As a consequence, we have created a protected names list, which includes the trademarks of the largest hotel companies.”