HOTEL Top-Level-Domain S.a.r.l, a Luxemburg firm created to apply for the new gTLD .HOTEL, has passed ICANN’s Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) procedure and will therefore operate the string.
Seven applicants had submitted bids for .HOTEL, one of the most contested and controversial strings in the newgTLD program because the hotel industry did not want to see it fall into what it considered the wrong hands.
One of the determining factors in HOTEL Top-Level-Domain S.a.r.l’s CPE success was the support it had garnered from the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA), a global organisation which represents the hotel industry.
The .HOTEL bid was created to serve this industry specifically. “The .hotel top-level domain is intended exclusively to serve the global Hotel Community and is designed to help solving existing challenges in a strongly growing online hotel business,” the application from HOTEL Top-Level-Domain S.a.r.l reads. “It will provide verified, meaningful and easily recognizable domains to the Hotel Community.”
The application scored very highly in the CPE, achieving 15 out of a possible 16 points. To prevail in CPE, an application must score at least 14 points.
Companies like Donuts, Minds&Machines, Famous Four Media and Latin American online booking firm Despegar all applied for .HOTEL. There are also applications for .HOTELES (the Spanish version of the string) and .HOTELS. Online Hotel room reservation service Booking.com is behind the .HOTELS application, currently in contention with another Despegar application: .HOTEIS.