Domain names for the hotel business


.HOTEL on the application road to benefit hotels

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.

ICANN approves application window for .HOTEL and others

The Internet’s global administration agency on Monday approved to open an application window for new web suffixes, also called top-level domains. Our .HOTEL will be one among many others, also extensions for hotel brand like .hilton or .marriott will be possible with this biggest ever shake-up in the addressing of websites.

The California based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its multi-stakeholder community voted overwhelmingly this step at its meeting in Singapore .

By the decision domain names with the extension .hotel (“dothotel”) will become availiable likely from early 2013. See our ICANN timeline for .hotel below:


Pre-Registration of .HOTEL domain names started

Recently some of the leading domain name registrars have started to accept pre-registrations for .hotel® , .shop, .nyc and other domain names. The pre-registrations are free of cost for now, but if successfully processed, an annual domain name fee will come with a .hotel domain name registration. According to United Domains AG, one of the global registrars, the pre-registration option offers advantages:

Secure your chance to own one of the upcoming new top-level domains by pre-registering your desired domain name now. We will attempt to register your reserved domains as soon as this becomes possible thereby increasing your chances of owing one of the new TLDs. Additionally, by pre-registering, you won’t miss any of the registration deadlines. The pre-registration process is free; no processing fees will apply. Only in the case that you do wish to register any reserved domains will you be charged a fee. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that we can successfully register all desired, pre-registered domains.


Nancy Johnson of Carlson Hotels joined dotHOTEL Advisory Board

Carlson Hotels executive vice president Nancy Johnson has joined Hotel Top-Level-Domain’s industry advisory board. The Advisory Board is responsible for making non-binding recommendations to the organization’s directors regarding domain names ending with .hotel. The group will determine who will eligible to register a dot hotel domain name. They will also provide assistance and guidance in governing the organization by establishing policies and objectives. Nancy will support and review the company’s strategy and management team, and assist with the development of domain name registration policies.

Those eligible for registration of .hotel domain names will include individual hotels and hotel chains, hotel organizations, and hotel organizations such as the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) or the Hospitality and Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Other parties working in or for the hotel industry may become eligible at a later stage. These prospective registrants would include hotel educational institutions, hotel media, hotel booking portals and other dedicated hotel suppliers.;jsessionid=6554a592f1da902a910843931b78.w2?storyId=4153677

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.”


dotHOTEL Selects Afilias as new TLD Registry and DNS provider

Cartagena de Indias, COLOMBIA – 6 December 2010 – At the 39th International Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Afilias announced that it has been selected by dotHOTEL® as the registry services and DNS provider for its application to ICANN for the .hotel new top-level domain (new TLD). dotHOTEL is supported by the International Hotel and Restaurant Association, the world’s largest association of hospitality providers.

“We selected Afilias because of its superior experience with new TLDs and its ability to help ensure that .hotel reaches its maximum potential in the global domain name marketplace,” said Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek, co-founder of dotHOTEL. “Afilias has a long and distinguished track record of providing reliable registry and DNS services and hence ensures technically stable and reliable support for the launch and growth of the new global home for hotel services on the Internet.”

dotHOTEL will apply for the .hotel Internet extension when ICANN begins accepting applications for new TLDs, expected in the second quarter of 2011. The mission of dotHOTEL is to create a namespace of security, trust and credibility for the global hotel industry and its customers. dotHOTEL also plans to develop products and services to enhance the efficiency and convenience of marketing and e-commerce for hotels and their organizations worldwide.

“Afilias’ superior technology and expertise in supporting more successful ICANN applications and new TLD launches than any other provider will help ensure the success of dotHOTEL. We look forward to bringing this new TLD to market as both an attractive new TLD for registrars to sell and as a means for the global hotel industry to enhance their global online marketing,” said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Afilias.

“The International Hotel & Restaurant Association fully supports this initiative,” said Dr. Ghassan Aidi, IH&RA President. “We are convinced that the creation of a .hotel namespace will be a significant step forward for our industry. We do believe that this is one of the best initiatives to unite the hospitality industry with electronic business under one label (.HOTEL).”

About dotHOTEL®
dotHOTEL (.hotel) is a new Top-Level Domain which is exclusively dedicated to hotels, their organizations and the hotel business worldwide. The initiative is being supported by hotel associations and hotel chains such as the International Hotel & Restaurant Association IH&RA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association PATA, the German Hotel Association IHA, Worldhotels or Design Hotels. For more information on dotHOTEL please visit

About the IH&RA
The IH&RA is the only global business organization representing the hospitality industry worldwide. Officially recognized by the United Nations, IH&RA monitors and lobbies all international agencies on behalf of this industry, estimated to comprise 300,000 hotels and 8 million restaurants, employ 60 million people and contribute 950 billion USD annually to the global economy.

About Afilias
Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias’ reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services, Managed DNS, and services in the RFID and supply chain market with its Afilias Discovery Services. For more information on Afilias please visit

Timeline for the .hotel domain names

Where and when to register .hotel domain names?

Based on the latest developments in ICANN’s process for the acceptance and approval of new top-level domains such as .hotel we have created a chart which shows the next steps and the overall timeline. The estimated schedule for the introduction of the .hotel domain names is based on indications of ICANN in March 2010. The major milestones are:

  • June. 2010 – Publication of the 4th Draft of the Applicant Guidebook
  • December 2010 – Publication of the final version of the Applicant Guidebook
  • April 2011 – Submission of application for .hotel
  • March 2012 – Start of .hotel domain name registrations for the hotel industry

We expect that major domain registrars and their domain resellers (where you get your .com or .info domain name today) will offer .hotel domain names from Q2/2012.

A detailed timeline chart is available here.

.hotel at ICANN Nairobi

We participated with two people at the 37th meeting of the Internet administration agency ICANN in Nairobi to discuss with directors and staff the introduction of the .hotel top-level domain (TLD). ICANN is likely to open the application window for .hotel and other extensions like .sport, .paris or .ibm beginning of next year.

According to latest information from ICANN the new TLDs including dothotel may become available later in 2011. That means that hotels and hotel chains will be able to register domain names like www.choice.hotel or at this time.

ICANN Chair Dengate-Thrush: .hotel is a very exciting idea

dothotel-lenz-icann-seoulWe presented the proposal for a .hotel top-level domain to a larger audience within the global Internet community (photo) at the 36. meeting of ICANN, the organization that manages domain names and IP numbers, in Seoul. Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek presented .hotel at the ICANN public forum to the ICANN Board of Directors. The audience applauded the idea of having a .hotel TLD and the Chair of the ICANN Board of Directors, Peter Dengate Thrush, welcomed .hotel with the words “sounds like another very exciting idea coming forward”.

We also discussed .hotel with trademark lawyers who work for large hotel chains and explained which rights protection mechanisms we will introduce to protect trademark owners like HILTON, MARRIOTT or HYATT. For .hotel domain names a phased introduction is foreseen which allows owners of intellectual property rights a preferred registration of their names before the open registration for members of the global hotel industry community starts.

.hotel Domain names available from 2011


Due to the lastest adjustments in ICANN‘s timeline the publication of the final applicant guidebook has slipped from December 2009 to early 2010, consecutively the application window is expected to be within the 2. quarter of 2010. By this the .hotel domain names may become available in a best case in early 2011, in a more likely case in mid 2011.