ICANN has approved and will soon release all one- and two-character dot-travel domain names, according to the The Travel Partnership Corp.
Until the change, the dot-travel registry assigned top-level domains that were at least three characters long.
But, under the new system which TTPC says it will detail in September, names such as 1.travel, A1.travel and AA.travel will be permitted for the first time.
"Registration of names from this limited group offers an opportunity for registrants to achieve a high level of name recognition," TTPC says in a recent newsletter.
There are thousands of travel companies using dot-travel domains, including plenty of destination marketing organizations ranging from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to ElSalvador.travel.
However, whether TTPC's boast of a "high level of name recognition" from one- and two-character dot-travel domains is warranted remains to be seen because dot-travel has not generated the traction that proponents initially envisioned.
By all accounts, dot-com is still the place to be.
Henry Harteveldt, Forrester Research’s principal analyst, airline and travel research, isn't a fan of TTPC's latest efforts.
“Having missed the sinking of the Titanic and the opportunity to rearrange its deck chairs, I guess Travel Publishing Corp. is looking for something else to do,” Harteveldt says.
“I don’t see any business value in this effort,” Harteveldt adds. “We’ve seen little take up in vanity domains (for example, .travel). A move like this may actually confuse consumers, rather than making them feel more comfortable and confident. If established brands are going to be forced to register their domains with this new shortened URL to prevent poaching, it’s almost like an online shake down -- a terrible waste of limited financial resources.”
One airline which would probably be interested in the development of one-and two-character dot-travel domains is American Airlines, which has the AA.com website.
AA.travel would seem a natural fit for the airline.
Asked about it, American Airlines spokesman Billy Sanez was noncommital.
Said Sanez: "We protect our intellectual property as best we can."
American probably will take AA.travel, but it doesn't sound as though any champagne corks are popping at the airline over this dot-travel development.