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ICANN Board Approves .Travel, .Jobs

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) board of directors has approved two top-level domains (TLDs).

.Travel and .jobs join the six other sponsored TLDs (sTLD) already in existence and eight generic TLDs (gTLDs) that denote worldwide domain extensions. Country code TLDs (ccTLDs) are geared toward individual countries or, in the case of the recently-approved .eu domain extension, groups of nations.

Final approval by the Internet organization marks the end of a process for the two registries that began with an application in December 2003.

Since that time, Tralliance and EmployMedia officials have spent their time convincing a technical review board and then ICANN staffers to accept .travel and .jobs into the TLD fold.

Now begins the implementation phase, as the two companies get their domain extensions up and running. Ronald Andruff, Tralliance president and chief executive, expects solid demand for .travel with the Internet community; he said 28 percent of all online purchases are travel-related.

"We anticipate enormous interest and participation by both the global travel and tourism industry and consumers in .travel," he said in a statement. "The .travel domain will strengthen consumer confidence in their travel purchases and provide a new, distinct, distribution channel for travel suppliers and sellers who cater to the traveling consumer."

EmployMedia, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), hopes to garner corporate attention by creating for those companies a space devoted to posting and recruiting job opportunities (i.e., Microsoft.jobs or IBM.jobs).

Officials say the reservation of a .jobs domain extension will streamline the employment process for human resources departments in the corporate world.

"Once established, .jobs will do three things to make the current recruiting process better," said Tom Embrescia, chairman of .jobs, said in a statement. "It'll make the recruitment process simpler for companies to recruit; it'll make recruiting uniform for all companies; and that means that job seekers will find the jobs faster, and companies will be able to more quickly fill open positions."

Officials expect the first .jobs Web sites to appear in the second half of 2005.

ICANN officials said commercial and technical negotiations continue with sTLD applicants .cat, .post and .mobi.