Monday, November 27, 2006

.travel domain - I don't get it

Tralliance Corporation is the company pushing the roll-out of the ".travel" URL domain. Have scored a couple of coups in recruitment including hiring Daniela Wagner from OctopusTravel / Travelport. Daniela dragged GTA into the online era and grew Octopus to be the top hotel booking engine of airlines, so she knows a lot about online travel. She and Tralliance announced last month that they have 25,000 companies signed up to the .travel domain at $100 a pop (a cool $2.5mm in revenue).

That's a good start but I don't yet understand the compulsion for a travel company to have a .travel domain. Am sure most companies will buy the domain for their brand to stop somebody else (though a quick search shows that Webjet, Wotif and Expedia are yet to buy theirs - or at least switch on a referral). But aside from the defensive move it is not clear what the benefits area. Don't understand how having a .travel domain is better than having a .com,, etc domain. You would never want to launch a business on the basis of having a .travel domain where someone had the same name under .com. The key for success then for Tralliance is to win support for their search product - If this search engine gains traction then that could provide the positive reason for companies to support the .travel domain. Without it I see little benefit. Winning in search will also be hard work as Tralliance will be battling well established providers from Google at the top end through Sidestep, Kayak and Tripadvisor in the middle and Bezurk at the focused end.

Am not going to count out Daniela but am starting off very sceptical.

UPDATE - 16 July 2007 TravelWeekly are carrying the story that Ron Andruff the President of Tralliance and Cherian Mathai the COO will leave the company "pending finalization of certain agreements.". Which is later clarified to mean that their severance packages are still being formulated. The announcement has comments from Triallance parent company ( boss Michael Egan using very positive language about transition, growth plans and other improvements however as the annual report shows (and TravelWeekly quote).
According to's annual report, 25,200 domain names had been sold as of March. The company collects $100 a year for a dot-travel domain name.
That does not sound like a lot and fuels my continued scepticism in this business. To put this in perspective, one of the world's largest domain name registrar services has more than 20 million URLs under management.

UPDATE 2 - here are's comments.


Anonymous said...

is it not like everything else.
great ideas dont die they just dont get marketing $$$ behind them

Tim Hughes said...

Often true but is competing (unless I'm missing something) with some other great ideas that have millions of dollars of marketing behind them

Anonymous said...

So will you be recruiting John Guscic next???