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Username: Christiane Dhorne
Date/Time: Fri, November 3, 2000 at 5:55 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.01 using Windows 95
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Subject: IH&RA supports the ". travel" application


(International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) is a global network of independent and chain operators, national associations, hospitality suppliers and educational centres in the hotel and restaurant industry, representing over 750,000 establishments in more than 150 countries. The IH&RA provides a voice at international level for an industry which comprises more than 300,000 hotels and 8 million restaurants world-wide, employs 60 million people and contributes US$950 billion to the global economy.)

After reviewing the documents concerning IATA's ".travel" TLD application, I have the pleasure of informing you that the International Hotel & Restaurant Association fully supports this initiative.

We are convinced that many consumers are reluctant to purchase travel over the web because of uncertainty about the reputation and reliability of ".com" website operators who may be geographically remote and whose qualifications and capabilities have not been verified by any independent party.

As travel has already established itself as the largest component of e-commerce, it is important to screen ".travel" websites to assure compliance with transparent and objective criteria relevant to the conduct of this new form of business.

IH&RA has worked with IATA within the framework of the European Tourism Action Group (ETAG) over a number of years. IATA 's good standing as a long serving international trade association and its recognised experience in stand-setting, accreditation of travel business and assignment of codes for airlines and airports make it ideally suited to performing the screening and verification functions at the heart of the proposal. These are notably absent from today's ". com" environment.

We strongly encourage ICANN to grant the IATA application. This will not only enable the merits of this innovative concept to be proven but may also have direct applications to other sectors of the new economy in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Christine Dhorne
Secretary General


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