20(a) Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing to serve
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The .ski gTLD will be reserved to the community that is directly or indirectly involved in the sport of skiing in its broadest sense and those who practice this sport on a professional level or as a leisure activity.
The word “ski” is a universally accepted term that is commonly used to describe:
- A narrow strip of wood, plastic, metal or combination thereof, worn underfoot to glide over snow;
- The sport of skiing, which is the action of using skis to glide over snow.
It is believed that skiing evolved from snowshoeing in Northern Europe and Asia. Skiing evolved thousands of years ago, as the oldest skis found in France and Switzerland were estimated to be about 5,000 years old. Skiing was then mainly a way of transportation.
Skiing popularity grew more in the early 1900’s, as woodcarvers introduced lighter, thinner and cambered skis. The Alpine skiing disciplines of downhill and slalom came about with this new equipment. As alpine skiing became a popular European pastime during the 1930’s, first resorts were developed in Switzerland and Austria to receive everyone who wanted to experience this sport. Many other resorts were built in Europe and in America, where the sport of skiing became also very popular.
Ski resort construction triggered the development of ski schools, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, ski equipment factories and many other business segments.
Ski is therefore more than a sport and leisure activity, it is a well structured and flourishing industry.
The sport of skiing is practiced in approximately 80 countries. Among these countries, roughly 70 offer open-air ski areas, the balance having indoor facilities, but all have a passionate ski sports community. There maybe many more snow fields around the world but just counting ski resorts with at least 5 ski lifts, there are currently around 2,000 ski resorts. Over the last years, worldwide skier visits have been estimated to reach a figure of 400 million, the most significant industry players being (according to 2011 International report on mountain tourism): United States of America (59m skier visits), France (56m skier visits), Austria (53m skier visits), Japan (40m skier visits), Italy (27m skier visits), Switzerland (27m skier visits), Canada (19m skier visits), Germany (12m skier visits), Sweden (8m skier visits), Norway (6m skier visits), Spain (6m skier visits), South Korea (6m skier visits), China (5m skier visits), Russia (3m skier visits).
The Alps are the biggest ski destination in the world, attracting 46% of skier visits. America is the second biggest destination (North America in particular), accounting for 23% of skier visits.
There are a number of other small players in the ski industry, spread over the globe, e.g. Algeria, Argentina, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa. Thanks to fast growing ski resorts, Eastern European and Asian countries are expected to have an increased number of skier visits over the next decade.
The sport of skiing has ultimately evolved to an important and growing industry.
The ski community is made up of two types of groups:
- Professionals and companies that are active in the ski industry;
- Individuals who practice or⁄and have a real interest for the sport of skiing in its broadest sense.
Companies in the ski industry range from small businesses to big corporations, active, in particular, in the following business segments:
- Travel industry (including travel agencies, transportation);
- Ski resorts;
- Hotel business;
- Ski equipment industry (including, manufacturing and retail);
- Sporting events (e.g. competitions);
- Ski schools;
Professionals involved in the ski industry range from ski instructors to Ski Industry PR Professionals (SIPP). There are indeed many different professions that can be practiced in the ski industry.
Furthermore, the ski community is made up of and lives off millions of ski enthusiasts, passionate about the sport of skiing.
The .ski gTLD will serve each one of these companies, professionals and individuals.
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