B.
Featured

Calendar “availability”. Your feedback is welcomed!

Dear community,

The Booking Calendar product team is working on improving the calendar tooling and functionality to make it more useful and handy for all partners. 

I see many partners mention the calendar and actively sharing their experiences. I want you to know that the product team reads these conversations. It is a good opportunity for active Partner Community members to influence the process by participating in a few open discussions.

Let’s talk about adding availability in the monthly calendar view. Here are a few questions I want to ask you:

  1. Would you like more informative confirmation messages after you’ve added/removed availability to provide reassurance on the actions you’ve taken? Would that be helpful?
  2. If you could open more availability “using the same settings”, what are the settings you would want to carry forward? What detail(s) would you want to remain as a default each time you open more dates?
  3. Would you ever consider uploading your availability for longer periods at a time? Why or why not?

Please write your answers in the comments below to join the discussion. If you don’t feel like answering every question, please answer one you feel strongly about.

 


11
BrookAve

 

  1. Extranet Change Log Yes this would be great and track all users and their changes. So when things like a surprise booking appears and partner thinks they were blocked or closed etc already, it can be confirmed it was not and it was indeed their own fault. See when other staff make changes so as to then train them better , improve local processes etc.  
  2. Rate Availability Templates Sounds like an interesting idea. may be difficult at first to capture. Might be useful for if someone wants to have a basic rate template; early or mid week special rate plans, then switch it back the next week. Templates that are seasonal.  
  3. Availability further into the future I think this will be a mixed bag due to different factors: a. Travel Restrictions b. Financial Reasons - end up closing after x months. c. Nervous about bookings that dont continue until 10 months later and cant keep doors open without others in mean time.

 

Those who may now have switched to monthly leases into next summer may want to wait until then before opening up due to the long term tenant may wish to extend.

 

1
Mabel Bertoni

Hi,

I dont have enough experience, so I would advise to make things simple for the beginners like me :

1. Extranet change log : definetly yes, a confirmation messag to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings.

I would like to be able to test the changes in prices and different rates, to confirm what my client would see

2. Avalability using the same settings : yes, it would be easier, as long as you remind us what are the settings

3. Uploading availability : yes, I would upload longer periods to allow gests to plan holidays in advance, at least 6 months

11
BrookAve

I would like to be able to test the changes in prices and different rates, to confirm what my client would see

 


Hi Mabel, 

 

The current method is  open two browser tabs or windows.

 

one with Extranet : Calendar in List View, the other on the View My Listing Link, that the public see.

 

Then once you make changes to calendar, rates, restrictions, you reload the other page.

 

in some cases there my be a delay to see changes.

 

Note: using Restrictions incorrectly can result in not seeing the expected changes.

 

Kind Regards

1
AJ Chamberlin

1)  I would like to be able to approve requests for a booking since I am advertising on different places.

2)  I would like to be able to address monthly bookings or yearly bookings.

3) I would like to be able to discounts on the spur of the moment also

10
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Sergei,

Very much appreciate that Product Team is working to improve the calendar tooling and functionality....

Confirmation messages would be very helpful....its certainly a reassurance of actions taken and reminds you of changes made....

Availability using the same settings sounds a great idea...

Yes, I would upload availability for longer periods but with travel restrictions its not possible for people to make plans in the future...

Please remind Product Team that syncronization of Callendar "in real time" is most important for all of us...Double bookings are making Partners very unhappy...

Thanks for supporting us.

 

8
Aaltje B.

Yes, I would like to be able to see one and a half year periods to check / book. 

I am connected to another platform in the Netherlands, that have postponed their bookings a year ahead and more, but can't block anything since not existing. So I now have to keep a double system. (I don't use a channel manager)

One and a half year timespan total would work for me, thanks. 

 

Greetings,

Aaltje B. 

10
M Adamopoulou

Hi Ela,

So nice to hear from you again...

Wish you a pleasant day.

 

7
Isle of Wight …

The number 1 problem with the calendar is the broken calendar sync that causes double bookings. It really does need to be fixed.

B.
Sergei - Commu…

Hey, Isle of Wight Vacations! Yes, you have already mentioned this before. I think your feedback and arguments were very clear and reasonable. 

And what about the questions in the post? What do you think?   

7
Isle of Wight …

There are so many bugs and problems with the existing Booking.com system and these should be fixed before trying to add new features - if you add new features to an already broken system, you just increase the problems without solving anything

7
Isle of Wight …

If your car keeps breaking down, painting it a different colour won't make it go faster ....fix the bugs, then add new features (without bugs) and improve other features ....

1
Mini-apartment…

Yes, this is a terrible problem! At the moment the sync from Google calendar is out of order. It did work until recently. The sync in the opposite direction has never worked. 

3
Miguel

I agree with the sync calendar issue. I think it worths to take a look at it.

If not real-time, at least every-1-hour sync frequency would be nice.

Just today I'm having issues with exporting the calendar as I think it does not export "closed" dates. 

I do not use the monthly view. List view is much better to me as I can see super clear availability daily rates, min stay and all my rates with just one view.

10
M Adamopoulou

Hi Miguel,

I don’t think it has to do with close dates...sometimes it doesn’t work properly you have to try again...maybe using another browser will help!!!

Many partners have problems with exporting calendar!!!

 I personally prefer monthly view...simple and easy...if I have to do changes I use the list view.

Cheers!!!

1
Pauline @ Chal…

Hi,

About the "availability for longer periods " feature: YYEESS, it would be very nice to be able to extend beyond a month (another OTA proposes this and we get 80% of our bookings through that OTA). Furthermore long period travellers book several months ahead so this secures revenue and peace of mind (early October we already knew the apartment is booked till 31 January by 2 different parties). 

 

Altough travel restrictions prevent many tourists from booking, there is a market for business travellers who want to stay betw. 1-3 months. Example: our apartment (4 sleeps, 64 m2) near a very large city gets many bookings from companies booking for their employees who will be working on projects for several weeks and want to feel like at home. Usualy these people prefer apartments because they have extensive or unusual work hours so they can cook and eat what/when they want. These projects vary from specialised artisans to outsourced IT projects.

 

Moreover, in France, during lockdown, we are allowed to rent for business purposes.

11
BrookAve

Formatting!!

... would be appreciated, as many will never read a block of text.

 

<SHIFT>+<ENTER> and <CarriageReturn>

 

Thank you kindly

10
M Adamopoulou

Hello Pauline and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I agree with you about employees...

Work Friendly is also designed for people wanting to work at home away from home...

Please add your property link in your profile.

Wish you a happy day and welcome to the Partner Community.

1
Juerg and Vale…

Besides of what's already mentioned, a price calculator to help calculate our prices and discounts including the commission that booking.com charges will be great. This is a feature we use a lot on the other site we list our property and it's very helpful to set competitive prices.

1
Pauline @ Chal…

I agree, it's never really clear until people booked to know what we earn in the end..

1
Harbour View C…

Well, well...

I own a number of properties ranging from small B&Bs to shares in theme and sport resorts in Europe and the south Pacific. I am also on the board of several hotel associations. 

I have serious doubts about the capacity of the booking.com team to improve the site. Over the years, almost every improvement seems to have created new issues and problems for "Partners". 

The new version of calendar synchronisation is simply not working and is fairly inconsistent and when issues occur, it usually comes nicely with multiple double bookings. I had several complaints from our partners about the booking.com customer service. Yes they are all very patient and usually pleasant, however this is as far as it goes. Most of them do not have the basic technical training to solve extranet issues and issues are rarely followed up by a qualified technician.

As an example the new paraplegic synchronisation system does not allow owners to remove a calendar entry. If you do this, it will create instantly a new copy of this entry and in some case you'll end up with 2 or more entries. We found recently several entries showing "OK" which did not actually export the booking.com ical calendar to the other party. If you ask a CS operator, they will respond that the system takes "several weeks" to update, which is also untrue. So no real time synchronisation!! I talked personally to a CS representative and she could not give us a booking.com ical calendar url link for any of our properties, so manual synchronisation was also impossible. The system was far more user friendly before it was "improved".

To avoid multiple double bookings, we decided to return to the channel manager option. However, this was also not possible in some cases as the synchronisation "bugs" on the booking.com calendar prevented to do this. We asked to totally remove all the booking.com synchronisation entries made on some properties... guess what... it is not possible either.... Just wondering how much bc is paying their computer "gurus" and where they recruit them....

I would invite them to study the user friendly homeaway and airbnb system where you can actually add, remove, amend data entries and where you can add very useful personal notes on the calendar itself.

1
Mini-apartment…

This is true. And the sync from Booking to e.g. Google calendar doesn't work at all. When I told Booking's support, they said that this sync was not part of Booking's standard offer, and I couldn't expect it to be corrected

1
Nigel Dobson-Smyth

Sergei,

Thanks for the feedback request of one month ago regarding availability options.

To answer each numbered question:

1. Yes

2. Same as previous entry in calendar.  eg. previous week. this speeds up entering standard info, but specific discrete changes eg base price need to be easily amended without having to start from scratch. 

Rather than having fixed prices per day it would help if simple formulae could be inserted so that the price can adjust automatically to different guest requirements.  Eg our rates change depending on how long the guest is staying, and which days of the week. Plus, we have 12 differently priced seasons, but these are not the standard months of the year.

3. I generally work out prices a couple of years in advance, and give discounts for early booking, but Covid and other political upheavals have forced a lot of late cancellations and deferments, while here in the UK onerous novel tax rules have made less viable, longer (covid safer) bookings, which previously attracted significant discounts.

 

1
Deo Japhet

Hey there, Sergei

Great stuff by you buys.

I just have a suggestion (sorry, that is out of the context)

Would you guys consider to start listing some tour activities as well? something like day tours & multi-day tours. 

The reason is that some of the properties also offer game packages.

Well, was just thinking it loud...hope you guys can grasp this and have a word on it.

Thank you

Deo

B.
Sergei - Commu…

Hi everyone! I want to thank you all for your feedback. I shared your comments with my colleagues. It is great to see discussions like this in the Partner Community!