Answer for Question 18 18.1 Mission and Purpose of .MARRIOTT Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott") is a leading global hospitality services company, serving the needs of current and prospective guests around the world through its brands such as Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard By... Read more
Answer for Question 18
18.1 Mission and Purpose of .MARRIOTT
Marriott International, Inc. ("Marriott") is a leading global hospitality services company, serving the needs of current and prospective guests around the world through its brands such as Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard By Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton. Marriott has more than 150,000 employees and over 3,700 lodging properties in the United States and 71 other countries and territories. Marriott's content is accessible in the following representative TLDs : .COM, .NET, .ORG, .CA, .CN, .EU, and .JP.
Through a unified corporate approach, Marriott intends to submit one gTLD application for the string .MARRIOTT.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .MARRIOTT gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by Marriott and potentially its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. In order to bring this domain to market, Marriott is utilizing Marriott Worldwide Corporation ("MWC"), a wholly owned, existing entity. MWC is filing this application in ICANN's first round also to test the utility of this new space in reaching current and prospective guests through online campaigns.
MWC will be analyzing and evaluating other .BRAND gTLD applications as well as general market adoption of new gTLDs to determine short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options to most effectively serve and enhance Marriott's online strategy as a leading global retailer with operations in the following segments:
-FULL-SERVICE LODGING: Founded in 1927, Marriott began as a root beer stand in Washington, DC and has evolved into a global hospitality company with full-service offerings across the following brands: MARRIOTT, JW MARRIOTT, RENAISSANCE, THE RITZ-CARLTON, BULGARI, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION, EDITION, and MARRIOTT CONFERENCE CENTERS.
-SELECT-SERVICE LODGING: Marriott also has a variety of select-service lodging brands offering competitive pricing and convenient amenities for business travelers and families. Marriott's brands in this segment include COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT, FAIRFIELD INN BY MARRIOTT, SPRINGHILL SUITES BY MARRIOTT, and AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT.
-EXTENDED-STAY LODGING: Marriott offers a variety of properties in this segment designed for stays of longer durations than one to two nights, with many units offering kitchens and larger living areas. Marriott's brands in this segment include MARRIOTT EXECUSTAY, RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT, TOWNEPLACE SUITES BY MARRIOTT, and MARRIOTT EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS.
MWC intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .MARRIOTT gTLD to Marriott, as well as potentially to Marriottʹs qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow MWC to establish the .MARRIOTT operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement should exempt MWC from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements. MWC is currently planning a four-stage rollout for Marriott's gTLD as summarized below.
1. Stage One
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve MWC registering a limited number of .MARRIOTT second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide Marriott's IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .MARRIOTT gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate MWC staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation and setup phases of the .MARRIOTT gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2. Stage Two
Once all testing has been successfully completed, MWC will begin allocating domain names in .MARRIOTT for more widespread internal corporate use. During this same period of time, MWC will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of TLDs, to .MARRIOTT.
It is in Stage 2 that MWC will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants such as licensees or strategic partners.
Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3, and likely after the first three years of operation. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of the Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with Marriott's business model.
3. Stage Three
Depending upon the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in Stage Two, MWC may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the gTLDs in which Marriott's domain names are currently registered, and toward the new .MARRIOTT gTLD.
It is in this stage that MWC also may implement its decision to extend registration rights to licensees and strategic partners, depending upon compliance with Specification 9, as noted above. The dates of such expansion are subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of Marriott's existing domain name portfolio; internal analysis of marketing initiatives; and the fact that MWC will have full control over the number of registrations in the .MARRIOTT gTLD namespace, MWC is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4. Stage Four
Based on its experience during the initial stages of operation, and based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage 3, MWC will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees and/or strategic partners. It is anticipated by MWC that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of .BRAND gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLD beyond qualified subsidiary and affiliate use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
The potential use of the .MARRIOTT gTLD by these or other business segments will also be driven by Marriott's future business strategies as identified in its annual report and investor filings, see: http://investor.shareholder.com/mar/marriottAR10/index.html.
Utilizing current projections based upon Marriott's existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, MWC estimates second-level domain name registrations to be in line with the projections set forth in the financial template provided in the answer to Question 46 of this application.×