At the beginning of April 2003, the British Tourism Organisation combined with the English Tourist Board to form a new marketing organisation called Visit Britain. They set up a web-site called visitbritain.com. A few weeks later visitengland.com was set up to market English tourism specifically. Prior to this, Wales, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Bulgaria, Malta, Luxembourg, Estonia, Singapore and Cyprus were amongst the countries that had already adopted " visit " as the prefix for their national tourism web-sites.
It is not only countries that have adopted "visit " domains. There are also well-known official, regional web-sites like visitflanders.co.uk, visitflanders.com, visitcostadelsol.com and visitnewengland.com, to name but a few. Cities, world-wide, have also chosen the "visit" domain. As examples, Newport, Rhode Island, USA has got visitnewport.com and London has visitlondon.com. There are many more of these official "visit" domains, but there are also other, privately owned, "visit " web-sites, which are tourism orientated. Visitbenidorm.com is an apartment letting site. Visitcostablanca.com is a tourism site in Norwegian and English. Visit-costablanca.com is another tourism site in four languages. I could go on, but what caps it all, is the web-site of the "European Travel Commission " in Brussels. The E.T.C has 33 member government tourist offices detailed on its web-site, which is called VISITEUROPE.COM!
What further proof is required of the general global adoption of the "visit" pre-fix in the world of tourism? It is clearly becoming the norm very rapidly! It is obvious that many tourists throughout the world will soon enter the word" visit", followed by the destination, whilst looking for a particular location, before resorting to a search engine. This makes "visit" domains very desirable and valuable. Once bought, they only need renewal every two years. Their earning capacity over time is really immense. Just imagine, a single tourist holidaying in a different country for two weeks must be worth about £2000 to the economy of that country. How many such tourists will a good VISIT domain attract over 60 years? Quite possibly, thousands! So a good" visit" domain can actually earn MILLIONS of pounds over 50 years, say! Where does that put its value?
Internet usage is EXPLODING! About 5 years ago there were about 850,000 people on-line in the UK. Now there are 34 million! The growth is phenomenal! With Broadband being introduced all over the UK, quick access to the Internet is growing fast. This will make greater Internet usage far more popular. So " visit "domains can only appreciate rapidly in value. Since they are generic and not branded terms, anyone can buy them. It is not illegal.
There are very many examples of "visit" domains being owned by people living on a different Continent, even, from the location of the domain subject. It is nothing new! For example, a check on the ownership of many European visit domains, reveals many owners in the U.S.A and the Far East. However, it must be remembered that many place-names, such as Newport, Puerto Rico, Newcastle or Santa Cruz, occur in several different places around the world. Since the Internet is global and each domain name is UNIQUE GLOBALLY, only ONE of these locations can ever own one of these multi-locational domains. This makes such a domain even more valuable, since people all over the world may enter " visitnewport ", say, in search of a particular Newport and then discover information about one of the other 25, or so, Newports that exist around the planet! Think of the publicity and web-traffic that is then created for the Newport that actually owns the name!!! Think of the commercial possibilities! Think of the extra tourists, many curious to see a different Newport after reading about it on the web-site!!
It is often sensible for a city or country to purchase" visit" domains referring to itself, just to prevent others from doing damage to the good name of that place. The cost of domain names is miniscule compared to the large, or even enormous, fiscal budgets of such places. Besides, the number of tourists attracted by the domain really dwarfs the cost of purchase!! If there is a cheaper form of advertising, long-term, I would like to know what it is!!!! An example of a domain name getting into the totally wrong hands is visit-australia.com. It points to an American-owned pornographic site! I don't suppose that Australian Government officials are too amused! They could buy the name from the present owners, I suppose. However, this can sometimes prove very expensive.
Apparently, the New Zealand government paid Virtualcountries.com $5,000,000 for the domain name newzealand.com. Mind you! Even at that price, the cost of the domain name will not take too long in being re-couped. It points to a whole country, not a village!
I have illustrated what an enormous industry tourism has become by publishing some world-wide visitor statistics in the tables below. I can assure you that they are bona fide figures obtained from a very reliable source. Tourism is worth tens of billions of dollars to national economies! Tourism can only grow as technology improves and international travel becomes relatively easier and cheaper. Look how it has grown over the last 50 years! Human beings have always been curious to know what is on the other side of the hedge!! That is why the domain names listed below have so much future value. They can only appreciate in value over time, due to the rarity and commercial importance of each one. Do not forget that English is, by far, the leading international language of commerce and travel, so thousands of millions of people globally are familiar with these place-names, with the word "visit" and with these domain endings. Anyway, a web-site, once discovered by using the right domain, can be made multi-lingual. Belgium has revealed itself to be very astute through its tourism web-sites. Its leading sites are visitbelgium .com and visitflanders.com, which appear in 11 languages! But Belgium also has visitflanders.co.uk, because the Belgians realise that many British people enter the. co.uk domain ending out of habit!
Anyway, .com and .net endings were originally American, but have become international, so why can't .co.uk do the same? Similarly, hyphens may not be so popular in America, but other countries, such as the UK and Spain, have always used them freely in their written languages. The hyphenated surname has always had high class connotations in England, for example, hence the popularity of the hyphen. (See examples at www.visit-the-world.co.uk )Many prefer hyphens in domain names for sheer clarity, particularly in a long domain. We have purchased our domains as a 10-year strategy. Any that do not sell for a reasonable price will be renewed every two years until the Year 2014. Therefore, I invite sensible commercial offers for the domain names listed below. Please contact me by e-mail or by fax 01239 612196 (outside UK 0044 1239 612196).
I wish you a prosperous 2004!