IH&RA Announces Support for 'dotHOTEL' Domain

The International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) has backed dotHOTEL, a Berlin-based company that wants to establish '.hotel' as a new top-level domain for the global hotel industry, it recently announced.

"After reviewing the concepts concerning dotHOTEL's .hotel top-level domain application proposal, I have the pleasure of informing you that the International Hotel & Restaurant Association fully supports this initiative," IH&RA President Dr. Ghassan Aidi said during a board meeting in Barcelona last month. "We are convinced that the creation of a .hotel namespace will be a significant step forward for our industry."

If approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the governing body in charge of Internet domains, including .com, .org, .edu and others — .hotel would make marketing and e-commerce more convenient and more efficient for hotels, according to dotHOTEL, which has said a top-level domain would give the global hospitality industry added security, trust and credibility.

"A .hotel top-level domain will make hotels more intuitively accessible and will give consumers greater confidence," said dotHOTEL co-founder Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek. "We are happy to cooperate with the IH&RA in creating a place where the hotel industry has its home."

According to IH&RA, there are currently more than a million domain names containing the term "hotel." As a result, the ".com" namespace is crowded, forcing many hotels — particularly new ones — to fall back on domain name constructions like "hotelname-city-hotel.com," which are an impediment to effective Internet marketing. Giving hotels exclusive access to a new top-level domain, the association argues, would improve their visibility, their search engine rankings and their legitimacy in the eyes of consumers.