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Username: frequent traveller
Date/Time: Fri, October 20, 2000 at 2:31 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.72 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: A Question for USTAR


As both a frequent traveller & frequent internet surfer, I have been following with interest the comments in this part of the forum.  I am addressing this message to USTAR because you seem to have taken it upon yourself to lead the criticism of the IATA application.  So maybe you can help me understand the following. 

I notice your comments do not so much criticize ".travel" as a concept as you seem to attack IATA as the sponsor.  In fact one of your posts earlier today was captioned:  "Travel agents are not against .travel - just IATA as registrar."  But my question is, why didn't USTAR or one of the other travel agent organizations file a competing application for a ".travel" TLD with ICANN?  We all knew about this proceeding since the ICANN Yokohama meeting in July, and the instructions to file applications were posted on the ICANN website since August 15.  If you could come up with a better proposal and you think you or someone else would be a more qualified sponsor, you were welcome to file an application just like IATA did.  But you didn't do that, and now the only choices open to ICANN are:  (1) grant the IATA application, or (2) deny the Internet the benefit of a ".travel" TLD altogether. 

I have read sections C & E of the IATA application (section D was pretty long & technical, so I admit I skipped over that), and as a consumer, I have to say I think IATA's ".travel" proposal makes a great deal of sense.  No travel agent will be "forced" to register a ".travel" domain name, it will just be one more choice for those travel agencies & other travel businesses that want to register there, and an alternative for consumers who see value in the "quality controls" which we all know are non-existent in the ".com" world.  If you disagree, why don't you just continue to operate your own website in ".com" or wherever it is, and let the marketplace decide if the IATA proposal has any merit?  In other words, live and let live, which is the Internet way. 

Ustar, you admit you are a travel agent association (although my own travel agent says she has never heard of you), and it looks to me like you just want to shut down the added competition that IATA's new TLD will introduce to your members, and deny consumers the resulting benefits in terms of convenience, efficiency, and financial savings. 


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