Future new gTLD application rounds will likely have three extra travel-related strings up for grabs, after the barely-precedented decision by a registry operator to dump three generic, non-branded strings.
Travel Reservations Srl, the registry owned by Despegar, one of South America’s largest online travel booking services, has told ICANN to tear up its contracts for .hoteles, .vuelos and .passagens.
These are the Spanish translations of “hotels” and “tickets” and the Portuguese for “travel” respectively. Despegar had also applied for the Portuguese .hoteis, but withdrew its bid before delegation.
None of the gTLDs ever launched and none had any registered domains. As such ICANN is not looking for a successor registry to protect registrants. The strings will be available to other applicants in future rounds.
Despegar never made any secret about the fact that it didn’t quite know what it wanted to do with its gTLDs when it applied in 2012, its applications noting that it would take a wait-and-see approach before making the domains available.
It waited, it saw, and a decade later it’s apparently decided it doesn’t want to operate these TLDs after all.
The fact that its termination notices were sent in January this year but dated November 6, 2020, may be indicative.