During a previous post on the Interactive Trend Report, we mentioned the recent news about the .travel domain becoming widely available to the ‘larger’ travel industry. While most blog subscribers read my original post, you probably missed the comments submitted by EnCirca Preseident Tom Barrett…unless you went to the blog.
So, for all of those reading Travel 2.0 via email or RSS, here are the comments from Tom and my response to the original post about .travel.
regarding .travel: the game has barely begun!
I disagree that the game is over for .travel. The game has barely begun! You are correct that search engines and .com have powerful inertia. However, the internet has a lot of growth…and change to come.
Destinations gain the most benefit with .travel. With an address like Arizona.travel, the destination brand is in the forefront and the targeted industry is explicit. Most DMO’s are too late to the party to get this with .com.
The real problem with new extensions like .travel and .jobs is that folks are unrealistic about the time it will take for these to gain critical mass (this includes the investors of the new registries). But for those who go ahead and advertise the new extension start reaping the benefits right away.
First and foremost, thank you for your comments about the post. This is exactly the kind of dialogue that the Interactive Trend Report was designed to produce. Opening up the conversation among our peers will help grow the entire industry’s knowledge on these important topics.
Next, major kudos for using the tools provided by this blog (comments) to join the conversation. This is exactly the type of case study we have been discussing on this blog…how the travel industry can take advantage of blogs, wikis, UGC sites, etc. to promote, brand and defend there marketing programs.
You disagreed with what was said, decided to speak up and defend what you believe in, all in a very respectful and helpful manner. Plus, you signed your name at the bottom…completely transparent…fantastic! You could have easily left the post as anonymous, however it certainly would not have carried the same weight or be as beneficial to the conversation.
As a side, I am curious to know how you learned about the post. Are you using a certain blog tracking tool?
As I said in my original post, I do believe that the idea behind any .whatever extension works well on paper. In theory, the idea that any .travel domain name instantly creates recognition in the consumers mind should work.
However, who would own the domain name grandcanyontours.travel? Or miamihotel.travel?
Without extremely strong regulations for who owns the .travel domain name as well as a comprehensive public educational program…which the individual organization does not have the resources to implement…adoption of the extension will be simply a step to deter squatters.
And now that the domain registration process is being opened up to any ‘significant participants’ within the travel industry, the recognition that the .travel extension carried will be reduced further.
At that point, if .travel is not an inherent distinguisher for the general public, why not just go with .com? Granted, I might not get the exact name I wanted, but with these new regulations, the chances of getting that .travel domain are reduced as well. Plus, if you factor in the nearly $100 cost for each .travel domain, a (as low as) $1.99 .com domain looks like a tremendous value.
I personally believe that .travel could work, but only with significant changes to the regulations and a thorough educational campaign.
As the .travel process continues to more forward, I encourage you to provide updates to the Interactive Trend Report. I, as well as the readers, would be interested to hear about the progress.