But was apparently late to registering country codes for Germany and Netherlands — as well as Nigeria (Africa’s most populous country).
Now, in Hotels.com’s defense, its global brand is “com.” And its global gateway strategy is intended to reinforce this fact; country codes are used as redirects only.
I should also note that Hotels.com finished in the top 10 in this year’s Web Globalization Report Card.
Nevertheless, I’m not convinced that .com is the best global strategy — particularly in emerging markets, where country codes are strong indicators of local companies.
For large multinationals, ccTLDs are trivial expenses, even if you have no short-term plans for using them. Speaking of, the ccTLD for Hotels.bw (Botswana) is for sale for roughly $2,000.
Which leads me to wonder who is going to register the new generic top-level domain .hotels.
This seems like a natural fit for Hotels.com, and yet Booking.com has applied for it (although the application status is on hold).
PS: I recently completed a book (review coming) that talks about the threat that emerging market companies post to established multinationals. I wonder if this is one such future case study.