.com, .net, .org, .biz, .edu, .info, .int, .gov, .mobi, .aero. For many unsuspecting internet surfers, these dot whatever mean no greater than being an extension name of the websites they are visiting. They do not realize that these three letters coming after a period or dot serve a great function in the webbed world of internet.
Top-level domain or the last part of an Internet domain name serves as virtual, invisible fences in the immeasurable vast space of internet. They denote classification and stratification. Top-level domains tells us the kind of website we are about to visit. .com is for commercial websites open for everybody to visit and register on, .biz is for businesses, .edu is for educational institutions (mostly schools, colleges, and universities), and .gov is for governmental agencies and entities. Each top-level domain corresponds to a certain association or classification in an attempt to organize the seemingly-impossible-to-organize portals of the internet.
One of the latest addition to the list of approved top-level domains is the .travel domain. It was in May of 2005 that the idea of a top-level domain for the travel industry came about when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the contract proposed by Tralliance to operate the administration of a top-level domain for the booming travel industry. Tralliance is a company that develops products and services to promote the efficiencies and convenience of e-commerce for the global travel and tourism industry. It’s headquarters is in New York.
It was in January of 2006 that the .travel registry was officially launched. Tralliance implements two standing policies in the registry for a .travel domain. First, .travel top-level domain will only be granted to applicants whose eligibility is unquestionable as proven by an authentication from independent outside parties that include travel industry associations. An applicant’s eligibility will be checked and assessed based on the data they will provide to Traliiance and this will be subjected to yearly updating. Another, the Travel Partnership Corporation has set certain restrictions on the selection of domain names that applicants can use can have rights to use. These general policies are crafted to make sure that the administration of .travel top-level domain will only lead to high level or reinforcement of industry identity and brands, as well as tested eligibility.
Tralliance has the vision of making the .travel top-level domain an online community for the travel and *tourism industry* that is grounded on fairness and just policies. The Tralliance plans to expand and broaden this community by having an on-going recruitment of members for The Travel Partnership Cooperation. Tralliance seeks and promises to implement broad-based programs that will have the involvement of the online travel and tourism community.
Still young in administering the .travel top-level domain, Tralliance has already accomplished considerably significant steps in building their dream of a coordinated, systematic online travel and tourism community.
As of latest reports from Tralliance, there are now 140 travel trade associations who have joined the Travel Partnership Cooperation. These travel trade associations are from nine industry sectors and 73 countries. Also, more than 60 travel trade associations are now actively participating in the authentication scheme set by Tralliance for .travel registry. These 60 travel trade associations are willingly doing evaluations, authentications, and recommendations for the approval of .travel registrations from many applicants. Applicants are also reported to be comfortable with this authentication scheme for it helps them in easily establishing their credentials.
Tralliance has also already established good tie ups with the United States and Canada. The US Department of Commerce worked with the .travel registry. This move is in honor of the National Tourism Week that focused on challenging states, cities, and tourism entities all over America to protect their tourism assets by registering their .travel internet domain names. The US Chamber of Commerce has also opened its lines for dialogue with Tralliance in lieu of its outreach program to every chamber across the nation. In Canada, the Tourism Commission has taken the step in establishing a new model for destination marketing. This is done by registering hundreds of .travel domain names for the country’s provinces, cities, and other frequently-visited destinations.
The Indian Tourism Ministry, the Euro Chambre (Europe’s association of all chambers of commerce), and about a hundred tourism leaders from the Middle East and Africa have also started taking initiatives in pumping up their travel and tourism industry through .travel registry.