Finally the Internet regulator ICANN has opened the 3 months application window for new extensions such as .SHOP, .CANON and .HOTEL®. We are working with ICANN for many years and achieved that the hotel industry will get its own identity soon. We also accomplished that .hotel cannot operated by anyone else than the an organization that is supported by the hotel industry itself. This very good news! We will keep you updated on the progress of our application.
A good tool to find out more about the customers behavior is Google Insights which offers the option to select various parameters to specify a search request:
- Search Terms
- Time ranges (from 2004 to today)
You can search for instance for the search term “hotel berlin” on a worldwide basis within the last 12 month. The results are a “interest over time” graph with key news influencing the results, a world map which shows the intensity of interest in the search term, and the search terms specified into “top searches” and “rising searches”.
Google Insights is for DOTHOTEL a valuable tool to identify search terms, e.g. “hotel” versus “hotels” and the activity of searching customers in this area ans by this the demand for the .hotel top-level domain.
The graphical presenation for the “top searches” looks like this:
Recently a Google executive presented at a major hotel conference in Europe that the average customer seeking to book a hotel undertakes 12 search cycles during 26 days to finalize his booking.
These figures show how important it is to position the hotel’s homepage among the top search engine rankings in order to catch-up with as much as possible of the customers search requests.
This is exactly where the new .hotel domain names enter the online travel booking landscape because they will improve search engine rankings and by this reduce provisions paid to Online Travel Agents (OTAs) like Expedia, Hotel.de or Tripadvisor. In fact the .hotel domain names will be another simple and inexpensive as well as efficient and effective tool to increase hotel revenues in a strongly growing online travel business.
To summarize an extensive topic, here are the benefits offered by .hotel domain names in this regard:
Benefits of .hotel domain names for customers:
- Better access to the hotel’s website through improved search engine rankings or type-in (direct search)
- Trustworthy and latest information direct from the hotel owner
- Availability of special and best price packages which are not offered by OTAs
Benefits of .hotel domain names for hotels:
- Strong branding effects of the domain name since frequently used by customers
- Less provisions paid to OTAs
- Sustainable better search engine positions
This is a topic on which we will publish more soon, watch out on our website.
At this years top event of the German hotel branch, the Deutschen Hotelkongress 2010, which took place on 25./26. January in Berlin, we discussed .hotel with numerous hotel CEOs, e-commerce managers and search engine operators such as Google. There are many questions from the hotel community about .hotel and we had lots to do to answer them all.
The German hotel association IHA is supporting .hotel.
We did some research on the websites of leading OTAs like Expedia, Hotel.de or Booking.com to figure out what are the most frequent search terms and phrases for the hotel online booking business. Here are the results:
hotel booking, hotel reservation, hotel bookings, hotel reservations, hotel offers, hotel discounts, cheap hotels rates, lowest hotel rates, business hotels, corporate hotels, room reservations, room bookings, worldwide, international, england, uk, ireland, us, luxury, pet friendly, romantic hotels, budget, discount, hotel deals, luxury hotels, cheap hotels, B&B, 5 star hotels, hotel reviews, hotel descriptions, hotel maps, hotel photos, travel, hotels, hotel, vacations, resort, cheap hotels, motel reservations, discount hotel reservation, discount hotel rooms, cheap hotel, hotel rates, discount hotel, hotel rooms, best hotel prices, boutique, design, wellness, spa, lodging, accommodation, special offers, packages, specials, weekend breaks, city breaks, deals, budget, cheap, discount, savings, destinations worldwide, ?????? ?? ?????, hotel?, hoteller, hotelli, ????????? ???????????, hôteliers, d’alberghi, Viesn?cu, Viešbu?io, Szállodai éttermi, lukanda, hotels, Hotele, Hotelierske, Hotelske, …
Since the start of the .hotel top-level domain project we had been in contact with the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA, www.ih-ra.org). The IH&RA is the only business organisation representing the hospitality industry worldwide. Its members are national hotel associations throughout the world, and international and national hotel chains. Officially recognised by the United Nations, IH&RA monitors and lobbies all international agencies on behalf of this industry, estimated to comprise 300,000 hotels. In order to incorporate and respect the interests of the hotel industry and closely allign activities regarding the .hotel name space we have signed an agreement with the IH&RA.
Members of our team presented the .hotel project to the IH&RA Board and NACE members on their annual meeting in Barcelona on June 18, 2009. The board members welcomed our proposals and concepts as an important initiative for the global hotel business.
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 used the recently finished Berlin based ITB, the world’s leading travel trade show, to promote the .hotel top-level domain and to maintain research on the chances of .hotel. Networking at ITB means to gather with more than 180,000 visitors, among these 108,000 trade visitors, and over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries. The ITB also provides unique opportunities to benefit from the leading think tanks of the global tourism industry. All levels of the .hotel value creation chain are present: hotel chains, booking engines, suppliers, providers, and individual hotels.
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.