Suffixes such as .travel, .shop, and .banc could become as common as .com, .org and .net following a pivotal decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at a conference in Japan

Customers should have more names to choose from and have a better idea of what kind of business site they are visiting, just by looking at the name.

Competition will also be increased between firms that specialise in registering domain names and then sell them off at hefty profits.

"It's beautiful. It's a major step," said Steinar Grotterod, of Active ISP, an ISP in Oslo, Norway. "It's taken some time to come to that step."