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Nominet confirmed for .wales gTLD bid

Kevin Murphy, February 22, 2012, Domain Registries

In another piece of dog-bites-man new gTLD news, .uk registry Nominet has announced that it has been picked by the Welsh government to apply for and run .wales and .cymru.
Wales is a country, and it has a certain degree of political independence from the rest of the UK, but it does not qualify for its own country-code top-level domain.
Nominet said:

We will now begin preparing a formal application to ICANN to establish both .cymru and .wales in the interests of Welsh businesses and consumers. Survey results and stakeholder engagement indicate this pair of TLDs will be the most suitable combination to meet the needs of the whole Welsh community.

It’s Nominet’s first announced new gTLD client win. I think it’s got a pretty good chance of winning the .london bid also.
There was a bit of outrage last year from an organization called dotCYM, which campaigned for .cym and then .cymru for a few years, when it appeared that the Welsh government favored .wales.
Cymru is “Wales” in Welsh.
My guess is that .cymru will be launched mainly with local businesses and individuals in mind, while .wales will be used for marketing the country elsewhere in the world.