18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.hotelHOTEL Top-Level-Domain S.a.r.ldothotel.infoView


Speciality – An integrally connected namespace

In our vision, the .hotel top-level domain becomes the essential name space for the communication and interaction of all participants of the global Hotel Community with their target groups like Internet users, the media and suppliers. By becoming the essential source for community members and their customers, the .hotel namespace integrally connects them on the Internet.

Reputation – A secure and trustworthy namespace
For hotel customers, .hotel will mean security, reliability, trust and credibility. The verification of each domain name ensures that only eligible entities can register a .hotel domain, therefore Internet users can rest assured that services offered under .hotel domains are only from hotels and not fake services from non-community members. This is a security and service level that is demanded by the global Hotel Community and which will contribute towards a very positive reputation of .hotel.

An intuitive and memorable namespace

Domain names under .hotel are descriptive, precise and create identity for hotels and hotel associations. It enables suppliers and enquirers to come together in a more intuitive manner than today. This is a speciality that has rarely been seen in existing top-level domains, but will become a standard in future top-level domains.


Competition - Better prices through enhanced options for the Hotel Community

With .hotel, community members will be enabled to choose from a wide pool of contextually relevant domain names and register those which best suit their communication needs. As an addition to gTLDs, ccTLDs and future gTLDs, .hotel will be an ideal supplement to existing and new TLDs. With a bigger choice between TLDs, hotels will experience a more competitive pricing for suitable domain names. Hotels will have numerous options when registering a domain because .hotel opens up a completely vacant namespace where all domain names are still available. Competition also emerges from the fact that .hotel domains offer added values for the target group that no other TLD can offer by the .hotel extension.

Differentiation - The verification makes the difference

The .hotel concept strictly limits the eligible registrants to hotels and their associations, thus creating an exclusive, trusted namespace for the hotel industry worldwide. The .hotel TLD will have a reputation as strong and credible as the hotel brands of the Community it is serving.

Prosperous and promising namespace

This environment creates new business opportunities and fosters the development of innovative services for the benefit of the global hotel community and its participants. With .hotel domains, the global Hotel Community will have the ability to enhance their search engine rankings by delivering more relevant search results. This will benefit in more direct bookings on their respective .hotel websites and increase their position in the global hotel booking market. From a user perspective, potential hotel guests will have a quicker and easier way to find accommodations from legitimate lodging providers.


We are planning to support the Hotel Community by innovative domain name connected services such as making websites more easy accessible for mobile devices, offering directory services and search engine optimization.

With a .hotel domain, the Hotel Community has a powerful tool to increase their margins by reducing dependency on external booking portals and increasing their direct bookings. The new .hotel domain names will be suitable for search engines and other forms of communication. Due to verification of domain names, .hotel creates more trust for hotel customers; combined with the ease of search, .hotel offers an innovative approach to supporting the booking needs of its Community.

Another innovation in .hotel is a rights protection mechanism that includes a special focus on securing trademark rights of the Hotel Community.

Users will understand that in the .hotel namespace only verified hotels can register their names, thus eliminating the potential for fraud and phishing in that area. The verification also provides consumer confidence as they can be certain they are finding and possibly booking with a legitimate hotel, or working with an established hotel association.


The .hotel top-level domain is designed to serve the hotel industry worldwide.

The term “HOTEL” is clearly defined based on the norm ISO 18513, 2.2.1: “Establishment with reception, services and additional facilities where accommodation and in most cases meals are available.” .Hotel policy is based on this definition.

.hotel second-level domain names are initially restricted to the narrow category of hotels and their organizations (Registrants) as defined by ISO 18513. Therefore, the registration of .hotel domains shall be exclusively limited to registrants from a logical alliance of the hotel industry including:

1. Individual Hotels
2. Hotel Chains
3. Hotel Marketing organizations representing members from 1. and⁄or 2.
4. International, national and local Associations representing Hotels and Hotel Associations representing members from 1. and⁄or 2.
5. Other Organizations representing Hotels, Hotel Owners and other solely Hotel related organizations representing on members from 1. and⁄or 2.

Registrant verification will be based on existing, established membership lists and other data in public industry directories.

There will be two types of .hotel domain name selection policies:

1. Domain Name selection restrictions that emerge from ICANN policies and contracts; and
2. Domain Name selection restrictions that emerge solely from the Registry’s delegated authority.

The core principle of name selection is that the first registrant eligible for a domain name registration will be entitled to register that domain name. The date and time of completion of all registration requirements and registrant eligibility verification data, following completion will determine the applicant’s order of priority. Any domain name that is not registered by reason of the ineligibility of the applicant will be available for registration by any eligible party.

Domain Names available for registration

No Limitation - Any applicant that is eligible will be entitled to register any domain name that is not reserved or registered at the time of their registration submission through an ICANN accredited registrar.

No Limitation in Number - Registrants are not limited in the number of domain names they may register.

Registrant Representations - The registration application and registrant agreement will contain positive representations from the registrant that they are entitled to the domain name(s) they are or have registered. Breach of such representation will allow the Registry to take-down ineligible domain names at any time.

Content and Use Restrictions - The Registry has in its discretion developed restrictions on the content and use of any domain name. Such restrictions apply to any domain name registration that occurs after such restrictions come into effect.

Each domain name must, within one year following the date of registration, and thereafter throughout the term of the domain name registration, be used as the domain name for a website displaying hotel community related content relevant to the domain name, or in such other manner (such as email) that the Registry may approve after review. Domain names used as contemplated above may resolve directly to the relevant website or be forwarded or redirected to another domain name displaying hotel content relevant to the domain name.

Restrictions may include, but are not limited to, a requirement to develop a website that uses the registered domain name, to ensure that each registered domain name resolves to a working website, or to ensure that each website using a registered domain name, or redirected from a registered domain name presents content related to the registered .hotel domain name.

The .hotel Registry will, from time to time in its sole discretion or upon evidence or advice, but at least once a year, conduct continuing or recurring audits of domain names registered to ensure continued compliance with these requirements. Failure to comply will result in a notice providing 20-days to comply. Non-compliance following such a notice period may result in take-down of the relevant domain name, at the discretion of the Registry.

Equivalent Rights

The Registry will accept registration requests on a “first-come, first-served” basis. In the event an application does not meet the requirements of the Registry Policies, then such .hotel domain names will remain in the general pool of available names.

Names including the string “hotel” - Where the applicant’s held or used names include a name including the word “hotel” in any position (e.g. ABC Hotel, or ABC XYZ Hotel, or Hotel ABC), the Registry will accept during the Sunrise phase or later registration of a name in which the string “hotel” is formed at the first level and the remainder of the name is formed at the second level (e.g. “Hotel ABC” may register the name “ABC.hotel”, subject to limitations that may be placed on the string at the second level as a result of the Registry’s policy on ICANN Names and other Names.

Third-level Names

All registrants will have the right to use any name at the third level, where they hold the right to the second level name (e.g. where aaa.hotel is held, the registrant will be entitled to use bbb.aaa.hotel, ccc.aaa.hotel etc.), with the exception of 2-letter country codes. Such third level usage is not managed by the Registry.

Registrants are entitled to sell or allocate third level names to entities that are not owned or controlled by the registrant, as long as they fulfil the requirements of eligibility. For example, a hotel chain is entitled to allocate third level names to its local hotels.

It is the role of the .hotel Registry to assure and control the registrant’s eligibility to register a domain name to guarantee the community aspect and integrity of the .hotel name space and to avoid disputes. The .hotel Registry anticipates that disputes over the registrant’s eligibility will be minimal within the Hotel Community. Nevertheless it has put in place an adequate procedure to assist the hotel community’s registrants in dealing with denials of registrant’s eligibility in a way that supports community needs and values. The .hotel Registry’s informal denial procedures will not super-cede any formal dispute procedures.

Registrant Eligibility Verification

Any domain name registered under the terms set out above is subject to a subsequent registrant eligibility verification process which will start immediately after the registration process begins. Registrant eligibility verification will occur after domain name registration but before the registered domain name can be used for web services and protocols like email, website, and FTP. This is to avoid mass fraudulent domain name registrations.

Registrant data supplied for registrant eligibility verification purposes will be held and used by the Registry for eligibility verification purposes only, based on European data protection laws. Registrant eligibility verification requires a review by an applicable organization or by the Registry (reviewer).
The registrant eligibility verification process starts with the Registry evaluation of each domain registration request. For evaluation purposes, industry databases will be used, like hotel association databases or other electronically available databases. Within 48 hours after registration begins, the registry will provide the evaluation result to the registrar.

In the event the registry cannot verify eligibility with the .hotel requirements, the potential registrant may be required to provide further evidence supporting their eligibility. Once reviewed, the registry will confirm or deny the registration. Confirmation will be conveyed to the registrar by email. In the event of denial of the registrant’s registration, the domain name is taken-down in the Registry’s discretion. A denial of registrant’s eligibility will be recorded against the registrant’s domain name and they will not be entitled to register a domain name until their circumstances have changed such that their registrant eligibility is confirmed in the required manner.

Registrant eligibility verification reviews may occur following domain name registration and where a registrant is found to be ineligible subsequent to registration of a domain name(s), and such ineligibility is due to mistake or error on the part of the registrant.

The registry confirms registrant’s eligibility for up to one year and the registrant may be reviewed annually or at any other time by the Registry to ensure that registrant’s eligibility data have not changed in the prior period and that they continue to be eligible. If any change has occurred the registrant at any time may re-submit their registrant’s eligibility data and it may be reviewed and confirmed as for initial registrant eligibility verification.

The use of proxy and privacy services to protect the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users will be not allowed. Reasons are legal entities such as a the eligible registrants cannot demand privacy under most legislation and that proxy and privacy services would not allow a proper validation and a public visibility of accurate Whois data inline with the eligibility criteria.

Our concept for .hotel has been carefully developed in close cooperation with the global Hotel Community and its most important trade associations. Among those are many individual hotels, hotel chains, the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) which is the only representative of the hotel industry today accredited by the United Nations and the only global hotel association; HOTREC, which is the European hotel association based in Brussels; the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, D.C.; and China Hotel Association (CHA). Managing Director Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek is also a member of the Board of Directors of the IH&RA.

Since 2008 our cooperation with the global hotel industry included numerous talks, presentations and discussions with leading representatives of the global hotel industry. Our outreach efforts took us to Malaysia, Thailand, China, Singapore, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, the United States, Austria, Nepal, India, Serbia and Bulgaria. We also networked with representatives from Argentina, Spain, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, India, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Peru, Australia and South Korea. We attended important industry events to liaise and present the concept for .hotel to our partners from the global hotel industry.
In the 4th quarter of 2010 we started to invite Hotel Community members to join the .hotel Advisory Board, which we finally set up in March 2011. The role of Advisory Board is to advise, support and make recommendations to HOTEL Top-Level-Domain Sarl and its management. The international composition of the .hotel Advisory Board is designed to ensure that the interests of the global hotel community are being represented in a balanced way.

The board members each represent significant parts of the global hotel community, with one member representing the domain name business. Its members are Dr Ghassan Aidi, President of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association IH&RA; Joe McInerney, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association AH&LA; Nancy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Chairperson of AH&LA; Markus Luthe, member of the executive committee of the European hotel association HOTREC (Hospitality Europe), and Philipp Grabensee, Chairman of the Board of Afilias for the domain name industry.

In 2012 we will continue and intensify our communication efforts to our community, with planned attendance of the most important industry events and an increase in media releases.

One example is a comment the CEO of the German hotel association, Markus Luthe, submitted to the major industry news site TNOOZ in January. In it, he laments the dependence on third party sales channels such as Expedia or booking.com hotels have gotten themselves into, bringing about an increasing loss of sales margins across the industry due to the commissions that have to be paid to these actors. One way to improve this situation for hotels is in Mr Luthe’s view for hotels to increase their share of direct bookings with the aid of “industry initiatives such as .hotel”, among others.

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gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixzDetail