When you book a hotel online with Marriott, you'll soon find yourself on a 'dot-marriott' (.marriott) domain.
Marriott International is among the first global brands to pioneer a new domain naming convention that goes beyond the traditional 'dot-com' (.com) often associated with website addresses, or URLs.
A big part the rationale behind this move is to protect the Marriott brand. "Whenever you see .marriott, you'll have even more assurance that it's from a trusted Marriott affiliation," according to a statement on its corporate website.
Other major brands that have registered and purchased their own domain extensions include Google (.google) and BMW (.bmw), although each has yet to put these domains into action online.
This transition is part of a bigger trend taking place online as more than 500 new domain options have so far been released for use by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a primary governing body for the Internet.
During the past year, new choices such as 'dot-photography' (.photography), 'dot-legal' (.legal), 'dot-club' (.club) and 'dot-expert' (.expert) have been made available. By the end of 2016, more than 1,300 new options will be available to the public.
The key difference with the 'dot-marriott' domain: It is owned and operated exclusively by Marriott. This means that the general public won't be able to purchase a website address using the domain.
This switch will allow Marriott to better protect consumers from online fraud and scams by websites pretending to be the hotel brand or affiliated with it. In other words, if the message or transaction doesn't reside on a 'dot-marriott' domain, it shouldn't be considered credible.
It will be interesting to see which other big brands follow Marriott's lead as the company, in its own words, seeks to "evolve, innovate and simplify your online journeys."