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This article was written on 29 Feb 2020, and is filed under Uncategorized.

iCal sync for bookings

Some booking services offer a way to synchronise bookings with other booking services. The holy grail is “Channel Managers” which are real-time and can sync multiple booking services almost instantaneously. So far we haven’t found a Channel Manager that we can use, although some promising leads are currently being followed up.

In the meantime, iCal sync is offered by many booking services.  A good article on iCal vs Channel Managers is at https://suite.booking.com/blog/ical-channel-manager-technology/

For a few years now we have provided an iCal feed that allows Airbnb to check the Booking Service and although this is not real-time (Airbnb only checks every few hours) it removes 99% of enquiries for an already-booked room and saves you entering bookings into Airbnb manually.  We have recently extended this to two-way synchronisation. So whenever a room is clicked on the Booking Matrix, we check Airbnb instantly and update the matrix to prevent a booking getting to step 2. We also check Airbnb and update once an hour so the matrix is usually up-to-date before a room is clicked on.

Many booking services provide iCal sync, including Expedia, booking.com and others, so get in touch if you would like to get bookings from other platforms without creating clashes and more work for yourself.

We have been trialling a demonstration of iCal sync using our small Airbnb in the City of Melbourne, which has two Airbnb listings.  You can see the Booking Service at https://nikdow.cbdweb.net/ which is getting the information from Airbnb via 2-way iCal sync.  We’ve then hooked that up to a WordPress plugin on this site to show availability (read-only) and take enquiries at https://www.cbdweb.net/booking/

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