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iCal sync broken

Hello,

lately, I've been spending quite a lot of time setting up iCal connections to manage all my listings on BookingCom, on other platform, and also other personal iCals (cleanup, maintenance, ...).

I'm surprised to see that the ONLY problems I've encountered were on BookingCom's one: buttons to remove a wrong iCal connection not working, names of preexisting iCal connection randomly changing when setting up a new one, the user interface that really is disappointing, ... and most importantly I haven't been able to test the trustworthiness of the BookingCom exported data...

I hoped it was a temporary problem (quite urgent and somewhat easy to fix), instead it's been already two weeks...

I see that in this community many had problems. Anyone managed to get an official answer from BookingCom? Are they planning a major overhaul of the iCal system in the immediate future?

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5 Replies
176 Views

10
BrookAve

Hi

If you search for calendar sync in here you will see the resounding answer is dont use it unless you can guarantee being awake 24/7 to manually sync.

 

The considered workaround is to get a  Channel Manager tool, typically an online software that let's you manage 2 or more OTAs,.

 

There is a page of them and there features. I have reviewed a few but have yet to try one.

 

Those I saw usually cost a monthly or annual fee, and vary on cost model of per location to per number of rooms.

 

Kind regards, merry xmas

 

Ps: link your property into your profile as it helps us fellow partners as a reference

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11 months ago
7
Isle of Wight …

Booking.com will tell you "the calendar sync happens 3 times a day" and "calendar sync is a manual process" .... they won't admit that it's broken .... same things happen to many of us and we end up getting double bookings .... don't trust the calendar sync, always block manually .....

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10 months ago
1
J.H. van der Sluijs

I do recognise the problems you subscribe.

It used to work well until, I received a double booking (off course I was to blame and not booking.com). That was in December 2019. At that time they introduced a new interface for the Rates & Availability > Calendar.

Some post suggest that a Channel manager will solve your problems. A Channel manager program can create a master calendar that will import and export to every channel you are using.

I do have my own “Master calendar” and I just want to update booking.com (not the other way around). When you add your calendar connection you will be able to skip the “Export calendar” step. If you do so, your calendar connection will never get the status Ok.

At least at this moment (January 2020), your connection will only work when you export the booking.com calendar as well. So do not skip the “Export calendar” step but copy the booking.com ical-link (and safe it for later use). Activate this link in your browser and the booking.com ical-file will be saved in your Download directory. Once you have done this, the “Last exported” date will change (you might have to refresh your browser) and Status will change to Ok (might take some time).

After some days (I think about 7) the status will be no longer OK. To avoid obsolete data Booking.com requires a regular export.

 

A work-around is, create a .bat file with Notepad with the following lines: (off course you have to replace the booking.com ical-link)

   @ECHO OFF

   ECHO Export Booking.com calendar.

   start https://admin.booking.com/hotel/hoteladmin/ical.html?t=*************************

   PAUSE

Save it as KalenderExport.bat (the extension .bat is important)

Test it by opening it in your File Explorer (Double-click the batch file to run it). The “Last exported” status will change again into  “a few seconds ago”.

 

Now you can run this batch file on scheduled as well.

  • Open Start in Windows.
  • Search for Task Scheduler, and click the top result to open the app.
  • Right-click the "Task Scheduler Library" branch and select the New Folder option.
  • Type a name for the folder — for example, BookingExport.

Quick note: It's not necessary to create a folder, but it's recommended to organize your tasks.

  • Click the OK button.
  • Expand the "Task Scheduler Library" branch.
  • Right-click the BookingExport folder.
  • Select the Create Basic Task option.
  • In the "Name" field, type a short descriptive name for the task — for example, BookingExport.
  • (Optional) In the "Description" field, create a description for the task
  • Click the Next button and select, as trigger, the Delay option.
  • Click Next and select Days: 1
  • Click Next and select, Start a Program
  • Click Next and select your KalenderExport.bat program

Safe and test it.

 

As I mentioned, it is a work-around. The “Sync calendars” interface is full of bugs and the ical-link can change for no reason. So check regularly if it is still working. For the same reason I should not spent my money for a Channel manager unless you really need it.

 

Good luck and thanks to the software developers of booking.com, Hugo van der Sluijs,*** in kurort Rathen, Germany.

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10 months ago
1
J.H. van der Sluijs

Here a new version oft the batchfile that will open and also close a prefered (in this case Internet Explorer) browser.

 

@ECHO OFF

:: Starten met Taakplanner

TITLE Start and Kill Internet Explorer

MODE Con Cols=75 Lines=5 & Color 0B

 

:: Sleep for 5 seconds

SET SleepTime=5

 

ECHO(

ECHO                     Launching Internet Explorer ...

 

ECHO Export Booking.com, calendar.

START "" "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" "https://admin.booking.com/hotel/hoteladmin/ical.html?t=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx…"

Timeout /T %SleepTime% /NoBreak>NUL

ECHO(

ECHO              Killing Internet Explorer Please wait for a while ...

TASKKILL /IM "iexplore.exe" /F

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10 months ago
1
J.H. van der Sluijs

After two weeks of experience I can tell, it this working well and it is a stabile solution.  The only disadvantage could be that your computer must be active to run the batch file. But running the batchfile once a week will do.

Please reply or like this post if this item was helpful!!!!! 

9 months ago