June 12, 2014 – With a score of 15 out of 16, it looks like we are going to see the launch of a community based .HOTEL new gTLD. A copy of the Community Evaluation Report can be read here. So this basically means you will only be able to register and use a .HOTEL domain name if you are a “Hotel” (more or less – read their policies for the details). Per the Application, “[t]he Community for the .hotel top-level domain (the “Hotel Community”) consists of entities that are hotels, operate hotels or represent hotels through an association. This Hotel Community intends to use .hotel domain names for their presentation, communication and commerce, and⁄or promote the hotel community online.” Q18.
This is great for the new gTLD Program because having the “Hotel Community” behind the Registry means we are more likely to see a trusted and secure use of Hotel domain names. It also means we are more likely to see a good marketing campaign to promote .HOTEL to the public.
In the end, we need strong use of trusted new gTLDs for ICANNs new gTLD program to succeed. This benefits the public, Hotel owners, ICANN, and yes, domain investors too. With a robust, protected .HOTEL we should see strong adoption in the marketplace.
Congratulations to Hotel Top-Level-Domain s.a.r.l. and ICANN on a strong CPE win! Now let’s see what .HOTEL can do to promote this one.