EnCirca, the Registrar for dot travel domain name with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is accepting .travel pre-registrations from companies in the travel and tourism industry. Dot travel will begin its limited launch on October 1, 2005.

According to a press release by EnCirca, the dot travel domain name is designed to serve the global travel and tourism community. Dot travel was approved by ICANN in April, 2005. The vision of dot travel is to provide the first centralized, global online directory to help consumers precisely identify providers of travel products and services.

“In 2005, Forrester Research [a research company which identifies and analyzes trends in technology and their impact on business] expects 32.1 million US households to use the Web to buy leisure trips, for which they'll spend $63.6 billion,” said Tom Barrett, president of EnCirca. This move will be “making travel-related services the single largest category in online commerce.”

EnCirca will stop accepting applications for dot travel’s limited launch on September 25, 2005.

Eligibility for dot travel domain names is limited to businesses in the following travel and tourism industries: travel agents, hotels and resorts, restaurants, bed and breakfast houses, camp facility operators, bus and coach operators, tour operators, convention and visitor's bureaus, theme parks, ferries, airlines (scheduled and charter), car rental companies, cruise lines, national tourism offices and others.

Travel companies must first complete an authentication step before they can apply to EnCirca for a dot travel domain name. The world’s leading travel associations, which include the American Society of Travel Agents, Hotel Association of Canada, Destination Marketing Association International, European Tour Operators Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, have agreed to verify their members for dot travel.

Travel and tourism companies which do not belong to a participating travel association for dot travel may be authenticated by Dunn and Bradstreet (D&B). Once authenticated, they can then apply for their dot travel addresses with EnCirca.

Executive Directors of travel and tourism associations are invited to contact EnCirca in order to qualify their membership for discounts towards dot travel domain names.

The dot travel domain name registry is operated by Tralliance Corporation, an Internet registry dedicated to enabling travelers and the tourism trade to more effectively locate precise travel information to facilitate commerce.