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Username: scmcswain
Date/Time: Wed, October 25, 2000 at 2:48 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.5 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: .travel control


                I am expressing my deep concern of IATA potentially controlling the top-level domain ".travel".  Such a domain indicates travel in general.  Travel is a very diverse and far reaching industry comprised of many products and services.  Some of the more significant industries are travel agencies, hotels, auto rental agencies, tour operators, convention & visitor's bureaus, and many others.  IATA is owned and controlled by airlines only.

Giving control of such a valuable top-level domain to any one industry is placing them at a significant advantage.  In the past, IATA has not proven to be the most efficient and cost effective organization.  The International Air Transport Association has charged excessive fees in other areas related to the travel industry previously.  IATA is mandated to generate the bulk of its revenues from other sources than airline membership fees.  It is my fear that if IATA controlled the top-level domain ".travel" it would charge substantial fees to generate revenue beyond that necessary to maintain this service.

Predatory pricing to prevent competition that benefits consumers, complex fare systems to mislead travelers, and declining service during the same period of record airline profits are a few examples of the influence IATA would have on the ".travel" top-level domain.  The Internet doesn't need more bureaucratic influences.  It is an arena that benefits the consumer through direct contact to valuable resources.  Excessive regulation and fees to benefit only one sector of the entire travel industry would shackle these resources.

Based on the previously stated reasons, the authority for the top-level domain ".travel" should not be with the International Air Transport Association.  An unbiased third party with a positive history and no competitive interest should control and maintain the ".travel" top-level domain.       


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