.SPA is dedicated to the spa and wellness community.
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey focused on the spa industry, 95% have dedicated business websites, 81% advertise and connect to consumers through social media, and over 50% are listed in online directories and monitor reviews. What this means is that the community is eager to reach out to and communicate with its customers online. Developing a strong online presence is therefore becoming increasingly important for operators in the spa community.
Today, none of the TLDs offer the type of health conscious, relaxation and wellness branding that is extremely important for successful spas. Domain names are already more than just a command line used for navigation and resource location on the Internet. Having a TLD that expresses the spirit and branding for spas would be very meaningful to the community. The .SPA TLD would be the most appropriate TLD for this purpose.
Another emerging trend as identified in SpaFinder’s 2012 report for top 10 spa trends is online wellness games. While online games are not traditionally associated with personal wellness and health, SpaFinder reports that medical experts agree that online wellness games “could actually be the key to changing the world’s health, given the unique power that its core mechanisms (especially social dynamics) have on sustaining wellness goals.”
Building on these developing trends, the vision of the Registry is that through the development of the .SPA TLD, it is possible to promote the advancement of the spirit and mind-body vitality philosophies of the spa community, to advocate the wholesome health and wellness consciousness of people around the world.
The mission and purposes of the .SPA TLD are:
- To operate the .SPA TLD as a world-class domain registry dedicated to promoting the spa and wellness community;
- To support the spa and wellness community, it’s industry operators, professionals and practitioners, in their efforts to develop and extend their presence online;
- To foster collaboration within the community, which in turn supports the advocacy of the sustainable holistic mind, body and spiritual wellness of the society;
- To encourage excellence and professionalism in the spa and wellness community by leveraging the .spa TLD to further the interaction between the industry and consumers; and,
- To deliver a secure and stable TLD registry with a high sense of integrity with policies that protect against abusive registrations and the infringement of rights of others.
- Advance Constructive Competition
The .spa TLD is focused on developing a namespace that can be complementary to the spa community. The TLD is not intended to be a generic alternative to existing gTLDs. The .SPA TLD advances constructive competition among TLDs by offering a niche TLD with the appropriate stylistic identity over other TLDs, for the spa community.
The adoption of the .SPA TLD also promotes constructive competition among spas which could exemplify their awareness in the development of technologies supporting wellness. Furthermore, the Registry believes that the utilization of a .SPA domain can provide spas with a better online brand that matches with the style and touch as a relaxed and comfortable environment that matches their offline identity.
- Enhance Consumer Trust
Based on expert studies, Internet users have more trust for domain names that exactly matches what they are looking for. Providing a namespace for spas would allow spa operators to develop a more trusting online brand which they can advertise to their customers with. The value of the TLD name in itself is therefore a core part of the value and of building consumer trust.
Furthermore, appropriate Abuse Prevention & Mitigation (APM) as well as Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM) is also important to ensuring a trusted domain space. Further details of APM and RPM above and beyond the basic ICANN requirements is discussed in responses to Q28 & 29.
- Promote Consumer Choice
According to a research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, there are a total of around 40,000 spas around the world (not including the hundreds and thousands of massage establishments and foot spas in Mainland China). According to the same research, in 2010, spas received 150 million client visits in the US, an increase from 143 million the year before. The revenue from the spa industry has reached US$12.8 billion in 2010 in the US, up from US$12.3 in 2009. The spas in the Asia Pacific region generate around US$2 billion a year and this figure is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
The .SPA TLD has the possibility to address those needs and provide consumers with a choice to enter a domain that harmonizes with the emotional wellbeing they are seeking in a spa.
To learn more about the .SPA Top-Level Domain, see here.