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Marriott International has purchased a new top-level domain, to at some point in the future ensure its customers know they are using an official Marriott-branded site.
Instead of the traditional .com domain, some Marriott sites may soon selectively end in the .Marriott domain. The main Marriott.com homepage will not change.
Marriott purchased the domain from The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which now allows companies to buy and create custom domains as part of its generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program.
“Marriott is helping to pioneer how businesses use this new type of top-level domain as an opportunity to evolve, innovate and simplify your online journeys,” reads a statement on Marriott’s corporate site. “So, whenever you see .marriott, you’ll have even more assurance that it’s from a trusted Marriott affiliation, including our 4,000+ destinations spanning 18 hotel brands in 78 countries, Marriott Rewards, and corporate and franchise information.”
The move comes in a year of increased concern for consumers using scam hotel booking sites. The American Hotel & Lodging Association estimates that 2.5 million hotel bookings are affected each year by scams or fraud and launched a campaign to educate consumers on the dangers of shady online bookings.
UPDATE: A Marriott representative clarified the company’s approach with its new domain.
“Our company purchased .marriott to protect customers from being confused by third parties that could themselves have purchased the domain and built their own rogue websites,” writes a Marriott spokesperson.
This story has been corrected to more properly reflect the nature of Marriott’s web presence.