20(d) Explain the relationship between the applied-for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a)
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.spa||Asia Spa and Wellness Promotion Council Limited||tld.asia||View|
Following from #20b “Relationship and Appropriateness of the Selected TLD string with the Community”, the selected TLD string “spa” perfectly matches with the name as well as the philosophy of the spa and wellness community.
“Spa” is the name for which the community is commonly known by others. Almost all the associations in the community uses the word “spa” as a distinctive element in its name. The activity or its facilities are sometimes known as “bath” or “springs” (more common in the past), but in the present day, the predominant trend is to use the name “spa”.
The community often identifies itself as the “spa and wellness” community. The Registry has studied the different possibilities for representing the community with a TLD string, including for example, .spa, .well, .wellness, .saw, etc. None of the alternatives come close to the choice of “.spa” as a short, representative and meaningful representation of a key distinctive spirit and cohesion describing the community.
The applied for string: “spa” closely describes the community and the community members. Almost all the associations in the community uses the word “spa” as a distinctive element in its name. Many members of the community, i.e. spa operators and providers include or integrate the word “spa” in its own company name, and almost all of them include the word “spa” in the description of their business.
Based on research conducted by the Registry, we are aware that the string “spa” is also used in three other contexts:
- the municipality of Spa in Belgium
- the short form of ʺSocietà Per Azioniʺ means “stock corporation” in Italy and is often denoted in the short form: ʺS.p.A.ʺ
- the short form of ʺSpondyloarthropathyʺ, a medical term for any joint disease of the vertebral column
While the municipality of Spa in Belgium was likely the inspiration of the use of the term “spa” in its present day meaning as a generic description, the .spa TLD is not intended to serve the town of Spa in Belgium. The registry is also aware of the use of the term “S.p.A.” to mean ʺSocietà Per Azioniʺ (i.e. stock corporation) in Italy, as well as a short form of the medical term “Spondyloarthropathy”. Neither of which is associated with the use of the term “spa” in its most accepted meaning and the meaning for which the .spa TLD intends. Furthermore their usage is significantly less prevalent than the use of the term “spa” in its present day generic descriptive meaning. As such, the registry does not believe that the use of the term over-reaches substantially beyond the community.
Further explanation is provided in 4. Uniqueness below and further policies to mitigate its use for other possible designations are further discussed in #20e, #22 and #29.
Most people inside and outside the spa community refer to spas and the spa community with the word “spa” as a distinctive descriptor. The location for which a member of the community operates is called a spa; a member of the community is often called simply a spa or in a more industrial descriptor a spa operator; and, products and services of members of the community are described as spa products and spa services. All of which utilizes the word “spa” as a distinctive element.
The word “spa” is the noun that the typical community member would naturally be called in the context. The term “spa” is not excessively broad and relates to the primary community of about 40,000 spas around the world, along with the community organizations, whose members are generally these operational spas.
According to historians, the word spa has been a generic description since at least 1596 or perhaps as early as in the 1300s. The global public in general would refer to the word “spa” in its meaning as offered by the Dictionary.com:
1. a mineral spring, or a locality in which such springs exist.
2. a luxurious resort or resort hotel.
3. health spa.
4. a hot tub or similar warm-water hydromassage facility, usually for more than one person.
5. New England . soda fountain.
And Wikipedia (http:⁄⁄en.wikipedia.org⁄wiki⁄Spa):
“The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts (including hot springs resorts) typically offer various health treatments.”
Understanding that the string “spa” is being used in other contexts, the Registry has done further research to assert that the word is predominantly used in a general point of view with the meaning as associated with the spa community.
In order to establish that the term “spa” is used on the Internet predominantly with the meaning for which is associated with spas as in places offering water treatment and holistic body, mind and spirit revitalization sessions, the following basic search exercise was conducted at the Google search engine:
Searching the keyword: “spa” minus “-belgium” in Google returned about 4,020,000,000 results;
Searching the keyword: “spa” minus “-italy” in Google returned about 3,880,000,000 results;
Searching the keywords: “spa” and “health” in Google returned about 537,000,000 results;
Searching the keywords: “spa” and “Belgium” in Google returned about 108,000,000 results;
Searching the keywords: “spa” and specifying “Italian” as the language in Google returned about 263,000,000 results;
Searching the keywords: “spa” and “Spondyloarthropathy” in Google returned about 168,000 results
Searching the keywords: “spa” and “soda fountain” in Google returned about 2,340,000 results
Based on the results, it can be seen that by taking away either “belgium” or “italy” as part of the search term, the total number of results returned (about 4 Billion) is significantly over the number if they were included as part of the search (about 100 Million). On further analysis of the results, for those even including the terms “belgium” or “italy” the results are predominantly related to spas as understood in general and as a designator identifying the community. Given that the town of Spa is relatively small with a total population of only around 10,000, and that the origins of the use of the word “spa” in its present day meaning relates to the town’s own spas, the Registry believes that it should not take away from the fact the only significant meaning of the term “spa” is the one for which the Registry intends to promote.
The use of “S.p.A.” as a short form for the Italian form of stock corporation: ʺSocietà Per Azioniʺ is also relatively much less prevalent than the word as intended for the spa community. Furthermore, a more proper and popular way of denoting the form of corporation is “S.p.A.” with the periods included. While this is an important usage of the string “SpA”, the Registry believes that it should not take away from the significant meaning of the word “spa” in its intended use for the spa community as a TLD. Furthermore, additional preventive measures can be put in place to mitigate against any concerns for abusive utilization of the TLD in this manner.
The use of “SpA” as a short form for the medical term “Spondyloarthropathy” is not popular among the general public (with only 168,000 results returned). As this is a very specialized use of the term for the medical profession, the Registry does not believe that it represents a significant over-reach.
Finally, the use of “spa” for soda fountains can be understood as an adaptation, from its popular meaning as intended by the Registry, i.e. the element of a water spring. Therefore again, the Registry believes that this meaning does not form a substantive usage of the word and therefore should not be considered a significant over-reach beyond the community.
In summary, none of the other uses of the string “spa” carries another significant meaning in the common language used in the community and in the global general public as a whole.
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