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ITTFA Comment on… New web domain boosts `just a drop`

The travel and tourism industry worldwide will soon be hearing a lot more about a new Internet service called .travel, and a leading international charity is set to benefit.

The US-based Tralliance Corporation, which administers .travel, has pledged to donate $1 for every new web address registered and hopes that every company registering an address will match that donation.

Just a Drop is a global charity committed to providing clean water for children to drink, and saving many lives. It is supported by World Travel Market in London, and founder and chairman of Just a Drop is ITTFA president Fiona Jeffery.

British Airways, Expedia, Fairmont, TUI, Marriott, Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney are among the first to register their company’s .travel domain names. Over 16,000 travel and tourism organisations worldwide registered .travel domain names within the first four months of launch, resulting in a first donation of $16,162 for Just a Drop.

“Millions of children under the age of five die every year because of the lack of clean water and sanitation,” says Jeffery. “Together, .travel and Just a Drop will be able to provide hundreds more protected wells, many kilometers of piping, latrines and much more to radically change the lives of entire communities who do not even have the very basics of life.”

“The dollars raised through the Tralliance pledge will help to address the needs of more than 1.4 billion children who have no access to a basic right – clean water. Travel companies that join in the .travel initiative will potentially be saving hundreds of thousands of lives of those less fortunate all around the world.”

The global consumer launch of the .travel Internet domain is scheduled for later in 2006, when Tralliance Corporation is promising major benefits compared with .com or country-specific domain names as used at present.

“The travel industry is the first to make a unified effort to remove products and services from the anonymity of the .com Web to institute its own identity through an industry-specific space,” says Tralliance president Ron Andruff.

“The industry as a whole is keenly aware of the importance to ‘give back’ to the communities in which it operates. Tralliance wants to ensure that vital causes like Just a Drop receive the ongoing support that they need and deserve.”

Only verified operators in the travel and tourism industry are eligible to hold a .travel domain name, which Tralliance says ensures the accuracy of information contained in the .travel registry while eliminating “cyber squatters” and domain name speculators.

The consumer .travel directory will be a free service in nine languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.

It will provide access to every product or service offered by .travel registrants. Unlike many other search tools, it will perform concept or co-related searches. For example, consumers searching for a hotel in Orlando with a spa, golf course and babysitting services will be offered only specific hotels that offer all of those features.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.