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Seems like an (internet) age ago, but 2011 and 2012 saw a huge marketing campaign for businesses to buy additional web domains.
The idea was supposed to be quite simple: web naming regulator Icann wanted to the restrictive 22 domain extensions (such as .com, .co.[country], .biz, etc) and open up the web to an almost infinite number of new forms.
The expansion of the so-called Generic Top-Level Domain (GTLD) system would allow companies or individuals to create extensions based on geography, brand name, subjects, groups or individuals.
The .travel domain had already been in play since 2005, when an organisation known as Tralliance had overseen its introduction, but – fast forward to 2015 – there was very little take-up amongst existing or new travel brands.
Despite the heavy promotion and discussion, additional domain extensions didn’t particular resonate with many travel brands.
Now, after a quiet few years on the GTLD front, global hotel giant Marriott has announced what could be a significant change to its web strategy. The chain says it is implementing a “journey beyond .com”, in a move which is expected to be carried out across the portfolio of properties.
The company will introduce .marriott as a domain extension to some web addresses.
This, it argues, is the company “helping to pioneer how businesses use this new type of top-level domain as a opportunity to evolve, innovate and simplify your online journey”.
The idea is that consumers, when they see .marriott on a web address, will be reassured that the website is a “trusted Marritt affiliation”, rather than a cyber squatter or one of countless affiliate link farms.