Andrew and Kevin both covered the acquisition of the .travel TLD by Donuts, which was announced earlier today.
What will Donuts do with it?
I suspect they’ll try to make it as easy to register a .travel domain name as possible, though they might like to keep some level of “certification”. What that’ll look like is hard to say and what they’ll be able to get out of either a contract renegotiation with ICANN or via the RSEP process is another story.
In many respects .travel is a quirky domain extension.
It’s been around for over a decade, so it’s not exactly “new”, but unless you enjoy “domain spotting” you might not have seen that many .travel domain names in active use. Sure, they’re out there, but so are .aero and .museum. They’re just not that common.
Could that change? Under the current rules and processes it’s not simple to register a .travel domain name and they’re not the cheapest either. The end result of that is probably two-fold. In one way the difficulty in registering them combined with the pricing means that there are more “good” names available, so as a product it’s got potential. Whether the higher price which gave it a degree of “premium” panache could work with a more accessible set of rules or not is debatable. Back in 2005 the number of domain extensions available was significantly lower, though as domain extensions go it’s still managed to weather more than a decade. (Admittedly that’s also helped by it being on an older ICANN contract which does not subject it to the level of fees and extra costs registry operators now have to sign on to)
Best of luck to Donuts anyway .. it’ll be interesting to see what they do with the string!