eTN: Where does .travel stand now?
Ed Cespedes: In terms of names outstanding, slightly north of a quarter million, and in terms of adoption, we’ve seen some excellent adoption by major destinations in the world. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Argentina, El Salvador, Egypt, Poland, Cancun, Utah, Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama. So we’re starting to see the snowball pick up a little speed.
eTN: Have your expectations been met?
Ed: I would say no. We have high expectations of the domain.
eTN: Based on the business model I saw, from day one it was quite…
Ed: We feel successful, but we don’t feel successful enough, and we feel it critical that… we are at an important time now, that the industry really begins to take the domain name up. A lot of things are happening – the .com world is becoming saturated; new top-level domains are coming out, and it’s going to cause consumer confusion. We feel really that now is the time for the travel industry to really identify itself with its own domain.
eTN: What are you doing now that’s different from what you’ve been doing, as far as going forward and pushing for those markets and getting them board?
Ed: Well, I think we have more conclusions to show people now, so we are seeing, for example, we are spending a lot of time showing our potential customers and members of the industry how .travel name holders are doing very well in traditional search engines, how they are doing very well on awareness. We’ve conducted some surveys, sort of fun things to do – you go out and you ask people, do you know what .com means, and nobody does, and nobody knows that it means commercial. And then you ask them what .travel means, and they know what it means. So we’re now supplementing our marketing with facts.