Donuts No Longer Just a “New” gTLD Company After Acquiring .TRAVEL

Donuts, with 238 new gTLDs and 3.629 million registrations according to nTLDstats, the largest of any registry by far, has added another gTLD to its portfolio, but this time it’s the legacy gTLD: .travel.

Donuts acquired the .travel generic top level domain from registry operator Tralliance Registry Management Company, who was delegated the gTLD in July 2005. So .travel becomes Donuts’ 239th TLD. However .travel is a bit different to other gTLDs as it’s what’s known as a sponsored gTLD, meaning it represents a particular community. Other sponsored gTLDs are .cat, .asia, .gov, .edu and .museum. There are 15 in total.

Registering a .travel domain name is a little more difficult than usual with registrants needing to acquire a “member number” from the registry and confirming they are or will be a “creator or provider of travel and tourism products, goods, services or content” before going to a registrar to register their domain name. However according to a Domain Incite report, Donuts will look at “tinkering with” the current process to make domains easier to register. It’s also one of the more expensive TLDs with domains costing around $155 from Europe Registry.

There are currently around 17,000 .travel domain name registrations, however they peaked at 220,000 in either late 2008 or early 2009 with registrations falling off a cliff shortly thereafter, presumably as a result of a discounted promotion in a year earlier, according to RegistrarStats. And assuming the 17,000 registrations number is accurate, it would put .travel around the 50th largest of all of Donuts’ gTLDs.

“We are delighted to add .TRAVEL as the ‘anchor tenant’ of our travel-related portfolio,” said Bruce Jaffe, Donuts president and chief executive officer. “The travel market is global, it’s enormous and it’s ideal for our top-level domains. We are seeing businesses of all sizes all around the world building their digital identity around our domains, and .TRAVEL is the perfect complement.”

Today, nearly 40% of the industry is doing business digitally: travellers and the businesses serving them are discovering, planning, advertising and transacting online. According to eMarketer, the global digital travel market will exceed $200 billion by 2020.

Since its launch in 2005, the .TRAVEL domain has been embraced by the travel industry. Domain names ending in .TRAVEL now identify tens of thousands of travel businesses and organizations on the Internet. The .TRAVEL domain is widely recognized as of the highest quality, and is used by leading travel businesses such as: visitloscabos.travel, adventures.travel, hongkongdisneyland.travel, goldman.travel, AARP.travel and tens of thousands of others.

“We believe that adding .TRAVEL to our portfolio will enable us to grow our entire category of domains, by offering compelling choices to travel-related businesses and organisations, and to the many millions of travellers and travel buffs located throughout the world,” Jaffa added. “They’re transacting, they’re blogging, they’re on social platforms, they’re podcasting – they’re everywhere online. We look forward to working with our partners to introduce these high-quality, relevant names to an enormous, global audience.”

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