The new .shangrila gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Shangri-La International Hotel Management Limited (Shangri-La International) can create and control domain spaces within .shangrila that promote the identity and authenticity of its brand. In this regard, .shangrila will be used by Shangri-La International to provide information, services and resources regarding Shangri-La hotels and resorts to consumers in a way that promotes trust, confidence and convenience. The .shangrila gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for Shangri-La International, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the Shangri-La brand. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for localised booking services and communication and marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.

Shangri-La International, trading as Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, is a global group that owns, operates and⁄or manages 57 five-star Shangri-La hotels and resorts in 17 countries across the world. This is due to expand to 84 hotels in 21 countries in the near future. Shangri-La International, established in 1984, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Asia Limited (Shangri-La Asia). Shangri-La Asia, listed on the Hong Kong and Singapore Stock Exchanges and traded as American Depositary Receipts (ADR) in the US, had 2010 revenue of nearly USD1.6 billion and a market capitalisation of about USD42 billion. Shangri-La Asia has over 33,000 employees and around 30,000 guest rooms. Shangri-La International has won numerous awards and is consistently recognised as an industry leader by prestigious publications around the world. This includes recently winning 8 awards and being voted “Best Business Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific” in the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific magazine 2011 readers’ poll for the 11th consecutive year. In this regard, consumer trust, continuous innovation and protection of the Shangri-La brand are paramount considerations in all its activities. The .shangrila will promote the Shangri-La brand and maintain Shangri-La International’s strong online presence. These objectives will be further complemented by Shangri-La International’s gTLD application for the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) “shangrila” in Chinese language.

Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Shangri-La International online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.

Shangri-La International’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. Shangri-La International is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
  • consumer trust: the .shangrila gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Shangri-La International and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .shangrila domain names are trustworthy. As .shangrila domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Shangri-La International’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .shangrila domain space;
  • competition: the new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in .shangrila gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
  • consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting Shangri-La International’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with Shangri-La International. As Shangri-La International has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .shangrila domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
  • Given the restricted nature of .shangrila, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that up to 80 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 100 domain names as Shangri-La International implements new services and marketing campaigns.
As .shangrila expands and evolves, Shangri-La International may consider offering the use of second level domain names to customers at a later date for the purposes of marketing its premier customer group “Golden Circle”: a loyalty program that rewards Shangri-La International’s frequent guests with exclusive privileges and benefits. In this endeavour, Shangri-La International will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. Shangri-La International will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .shangrila including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.

Shangri-La International intends to create relevant domain names for use including product, services or geographic names in the second or third level domain names. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, Shangri-La International will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries in which it currently operates. It is anticipated that the number of geographic names used at the second and third level will increase as Shangri-La International expands into new cities and countries. The use of geographic names is intended to:
  • connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
  • comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
Shangri-La is a well-recognised global brand with its trademark registered in 59 countries and territories and has pending trademark applications in a further 10 countries for 26 categories, including: Entertainment Services (Class 41); Restaurant and Hospitality Services (Class 43); and Medical and Beauty Care Services (Class 44).

Shangri-La International has existing domain names with an exact match to the “Shangri-La” trademark in the following spaces:
  • gTLDs:,,
  • country code TLDs (ccTLDs):,,
Further, Shangri-La International has over 100 gTLDs and 17 ccTLDs containing the “Shangri-La” trademark. Recently, Shangri-La International was successful in securing Sunrise B application for the .xxx domain spaces based on existing trademark registration.
Jovenet Consulting,
Aug 11, 2016, 7:14 AM