The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has delayed the application window for new top-level domains to late first quarter of 2010.
We did targeted market research on .hotel at the ITB 2007 international tourism fair here in Berlin to figure our who might benefit and like .hotel domain names most. Interestingly, small to medium hotels where the most enthusiastic promoters for .hotel while big hotel chains and hotel associations rather asked why they could not make .hotel themselves as an extension of their business.
At about the time we started the .berlin top-level domain project we also evaluated other areas where there is a need for an own top-level domain. We started with figuring out which common terms are often used in domain names. Among the results where the terms “jobs”, “music”, “online”, “game” and of course “hotel”. All these terms with second-level domains in the gTLD name spaces, primarily .com, but also .org or .info. The term hotel is used by over a million domain names from www.designhotels.com to www.paris-hotels.com.
During our research we also got a lot of positive feedback from hotels on the .hotel concept since online marketing is going to become a major contributor to the promotional efforts of the hotel industry.