What is an iCal connection?
iCal (short for iCalendar) is a common file format that allows you to share room availability between your diary and popular booking websites. An iCal connection offers limited capabilities. It only synchronises room availability. Rates, content and policies are not synchronised at all and must be updated manually.
Why might you need iCal?
eviivo’s philosophy is to secure the best and most complete connectivity with the major travel websites that produce the highest level of bookings for you. Doing so requires a heavy investment in resources and development and takes place via a deeper complex Application Program Interfaces (API).
Therefore, iCal is an excellent alternative for booking sites that provide no or limited API capabilities, or rarely deliver large volumes of bookings but may address specialised or niche audiences.
How do iCal connections work?
It’s easy. iCal connections use a simple web address (or URL) for your calendar. Any travel website connected via iCal access this URL regularly to check your room availability.
Most booking websites and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) will only retrieve iCal availability at their own frequency – this can be every hour or only a couple of times per day – and eviivo have no control over their chosen frequency. So, if you take a booking in between updates, this could lead to an overbooking. For this reason, wherever possible, we recommend using an API connection over an iCal connection.
This said, iCal saves much manual effort! It is a quick and easy way to keep a whole range of booking sites up to date. And to avoid any risk of overbooking, we recommend that you hold some rooms back and/or replenish as needed, or update the booking site directly when you get really full.
Who we support via iCal connection
Trip Advisor Rentals, including:
Bed and Breakfast EU
Gites de France
Media Vacation Rentals
Mister B & B
Is an iCal connection difficult to set up?
Not at all! You simply need to copy the iCal link from your eviivo login for each one of your rooms, and paste it into the calendar of the OTA you wish to connect to via iCal. You’ll then need to log into to the iCal-connected OTA to ensure your rates and policies are correct.