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International Hotel & Restaurant Association to Support “dotHOTEL”;

Top-Level Domain (.hotel) for the Hotel Industry Seeking ICANN Registration

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Barcelona, June 18, 2009 – The International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) has announced its support for dotHOTEL, the company which will register ‘.hotel’ as a new top-level domain for the global hotel industry with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Hotels and the hotel industry worldwide will then be able to register their brands in an unambiguous and trusted namespace, such as international, domestic chains and independent hotels ‘.hotel’.

“After reviewing the concepts concerning dotHOTEL’s .hotel Top-Level Domain application proposal, I have the pleasure of informing you that the International Hotel & Restaurant Association fully supports this initiative,” said Dr. Ghassan Aidi, IH&RA President, at the IH&RA NACE & Board meeting in Barcelona. “We are convinced that the creation of a .hotel namespace will be a significant step foward for our industry.”

The mission of dotHOTEL, which is based in Berlin, Germany, is to establish the .hotel top-level domain for the benefit of the global hotel business on the Internet, with the approval of ICANN. The founders of dotHOTEL have backgrounds in the internet as well as in the hotel industry and are active members of the ICANN community. dotHOTEL is dedicated to develop services and products to enhance the efficiency and convenience of marketing and e-commerce for hotels, their organizations and associated businesses worldwide. The major of aim of dotHOTEL is the creation of a namespace of security, trust and credibility for the global hotel business, its providers, suppliers and its customers.

Today there are more than a million domains containing the term ‘hotel’, like www.designhotel.com or www.plazahotel.de. At the same time there is a continued demand for hotel related domains. A ‘.hotel’ top-level domain will make hotels more intuitively accessible and will give consumers greater confidence by added security features such as registrar verification and DNSSEC. It also provides the global hotel business with a voice and improved visibility on the Internet. Doing business for suppliers and providers will become easier and more reliable.

These are goals which are fully in alignment with the International Hotel & Restaurant Association’s tasks for the global hotel industry. Many hotels, even large ones, could not register their desired domain in the past. Constructions such as hotelname-city-hotel.com are common and constitute an obstacle for efficient online marketing. The situation in many of the crowded namespaces such as ‘.com’ or ‘.de’ is even worse for newcomers. Consequently, second rate domain names lead to worse search engine rankings and increase the dependence on the large booking sites, which in turn puts pressure on the margins hotels can generate in their business. There is also a risk to become the victim of fraudulent mediators who may be geographically remote and whose qualifications and capabilities have not been verified by any independent party.

“A .hotel top-level domain will make hotels more intuitively accessible and will give consumers greater confidence,” said Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek, who is one of the founders of dotHOTEL, in Barcelona. “We are happy to cooperate with the IH&RA in creating a place where the hotel industry has its home.”

About the IH&RA
The IH&RA is the only global business organization representing the hospitality industry worldwide. It is a global network of independent and chain operators, national associations, hospitality suppliers and educational centres in the hotel and restaurant industry, representing over 750,000 establishments in more than 150 countries. 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. 

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Contact:

Thalis Papadopoulos
+41(0)22 734 80 41

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Also See: .travel - a New Top-Level Domain Has Some Heavy Hitters on Board; Disney, Expedia, British Airways, Marriott, Carnival Cruise Lines / March 2006
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