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This article was written on 05 Aug 2014, and is filed under Alpine Bookings Newsletter.

Newsletter 5/8/2014

New Mobile and Tablet app live

The mobile/tablet web-app allows bookings (public if you allow them, as well as members).  The app is now in use for clubs which have expressed an interest, and Paypal payments are supported – eWay coming soon. We would like to hook it up for all our clubs so let us know and we will do this for you.  How it works: If a tablet or phone is used to access your main booking website, it is redirected to the mobile site.  If the full site is desired (e.g.  for doing something other than making a booking), you can tap on a button to go back to the full site. Note: if your payments are via Paypal, you need to extract some additional information from the Paypal website using your Paypal account – we will send instructions to you.

New site shows bed availability across all our Mountains

Many of our clubs allow the public to book on line.  For those clubs we have created a website that shows bed availability across all our mountains, and allows drill-down into each mountain and each lodge, then to the booking system for each lodge to make a booking.  It’s at http://www.snowaccommodation.info/, thanks to club members who helped out with photographs.  We are still looking for good photos for Falls Creek!

You can help the public find the new site by including a link to it from your club website.  Naturally if people are already on your website they can book straight away.  The reason for linking to snowaccommodation.info is to make it more visible to Google (it’s called “page rank”) and that will push it up in search results.  We’d much appreciate it.  Use words like “booking accommodation in member owned ski lodges” or similar – the link doesn’t have to be prominent, remember only Google needs to see it, not humans.

Other new features

Room allocation report

The room allocation report is designed to be printed and posted at the lodge.  You find it on your admin menu via Bookings -> Booking Reporting -> View report “1.  Room allocation”.  This report was always used by book-by-room lodges but can now also be used by book-by-bed lodges if you choose to enter the room allocation into the bookings.  We have added information on all “optional extra” tariffs for each booking, and we have added the name of the member (if any) who made the booking.  The report also now shows the tariff applying to each guest.  So, for example, if you have an optional extra tariff “linen service”, your lodge caretaker find out which guests have booked this by looking at the report.

Reminder invoices

The system sends a reminder (unless you have it turned off), for bookings made but not yet paid, i.e.  TENTATIVE bookings.  You set the number of days after the booking is made before this reminder is emailed.  Some of our clubs don’t require immediate payment in this way, instead they require payment a set number of days before the booking starts.  This is now catered for, by entering a negative number in Site Config -> Payment Details -> Days for Payment.  The reminder email will be sent that many days before the booking starts.  We have also updated the information provided when making a booking, on step 4, to reflect this setting.

Members view of optional extras in their bookings

Members can now see information about “optional extras” when they review their bookings online.

Office closed for a week

Staff have to go skiing too – so we are taking off to the Bogong High Plains for a week of ski-touring.  Most days we get into phone range and can return calls and check emails, but please accept our apologies for tardy responses.  We are out of the office from this Friday 8th August and back Monday 18th.

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