[updated] German cities and regions are the most enthusiastic in expressing interest for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that are likely to go live in 2010 according to the latest timetable from ICANN.
The most recent gTLD initiative is .BAYERN for the Bavarian region in southern Germany, with 20 million inhabitants and whose capital is Munich. DotBayern e.V. is a not for profit organisation that aims to receive the charity status.
According to many Bavarians they are Bavarian first, German second. According to many Germans, Bavaria is almost another country. So it is likely with this pride in Bavaria a gTLD for the region will gain significant support.
One of the most prominent of the likely applicants for a new gTLD in February 2010 is .BERLIN, among a number of other German cities. Germany is a likely candidate for numerous applications in part due to the high number of .DE registrations meaning a crowded ccTLD space and often difficulty in finding an appropriate domain name.
In the past month the .DE ccTLD past the 13 million registrations mark and earlier in the year reclaimed the number one ccTLD position from .CN.
Support for new city and region gTLDs in Germany has also come from the German parliament when in January 2008 the Bundestag expressed support for the initiatives. Support is expected in the near future from the Bavarian government with tentative agreement to date.
.BAYERN is a registered trade mark while dotBayern is a not for profit organisation.
Other proposed regional gTLDs are Wales (.cym), Galicia (.gal) and Brittany (.bzh).
For more information, in German, on the .BAYERN initiative see www.dotbayern.de.