I’m interested in people’s views on how the increasing range of tlds affects business and consumers online.
In particular there’s .travel, which attempts to create an online directory incorporating millions of travel websites. As an industry, travel and tourism is a world leader with around 12% of the global market. Online, travel is also a leader. Is this a reason for ICANN to shake up the current system?
Is this a money making exercise for the US travel conglomerate that will act as registrar for the new tld?
Is it a genuine way to create a cream of the crop list? If so, how will this process differ to the way that current search engines work?
I spoke to someone from British Airways last year when the initial sign up process began for .travel and the gist was that they were buying their relevant tlds in order to safeguard them – rather than to actually use them.
But recent reports suggest that 16,000 domains have been registered. What do people think? Will this new directory be taken as seriously as Google and Yahoo! currently are?
I personally suspect that by asking people to opt in you are going to build a directory that represents a small percentage of what is available on the Net. So at best it will be used by the fickle site flicking public as another option in their search for the best deal. My research suggests that people have tried and tested the travel market and many are set on the way they search.