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.
The .hotel project has been selected to present its concept to a global hotel industry audience at the 47th annual congress of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association IH&RA, held from 18-21 January 2010 in Belgrade, Serbia. We are looking forward to this excellent opportunity to demonstrate the participants from all over the world the benefits of the .hotel namespace. Beyond these benefits, the focus of our presentation will be on our registration and rights protection policies. We will also be present on the exhibition floor and invite all delegates to visit our booth.
We 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.
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.
Members of our team were present at the ICANN meeting in Sydney to promote the .hotel top-level domain to ICANN directors, registrars and other relevant parties. We also collected feedback from the users community and discussed policy topics for the hotel domain.
Concerns were raised on the timeline for the introduction of new top-level domains including .hotel, the very high costs for the application and the reservation on several domain names like france.hotel by governments. We are confident to find a compromise on these issues to make the .hotel top-level domain a success for the hotel industry and its customers.
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.