Channel management is a service which connects your booking channels into one management system. For example you could manage your laterooms and booking.com rates and availability from one system, this is called channel management.
Watch the video on YouTube see how the freetobook channel manager works.
* freetobook will not charge their set-up and connection fee if connected in time. There may be costs from Visit Wales to list on their websites and update via guestlink – your listing on Welsh websites is subject to their terms and conditions so you need to check all Visit Wales terms and conditions.
Watch the video…see how the freetobook channel manager works?
* freetobook will not charge their set-up and connection fee if connected in time. There may be costs from the Cumbria Tourism to list on their websites and update via guestlink – your listing on the Cumbria Tourism websites is subject to their terms and conditions so you need to check all Cumbria Tourism’s terms and conditions.
New channel manager link with Guestlink will be live shortly.
Our UK customers will soon be able to access even more distribution.
Guestlink is based in the UK and they power a number of big destination websites. These include golakes and VisitYork . If your accommodation is in any of these locations you can list on their websites subject to their conditions.
This Guestlink connection adds to the growing collection of connections available with freetobook’s channel manager. Keep an eye on our email updates, blog, facebook and twitter pages where we will let you know the go live date.
You can already enjoy connections with the following channels on the freetobook channel manager.
We continue to grow the connections as our customers are always looking for new ways to be seen and generate bookings.
Our channel manager is a plus service that freetobook customers can opt into. If you don’t yet have an account it’s easy and free to get one today. Join the thousands of properties enjoying our services….find out more at freetobook
iCal is a standard format for calendars, it can be used to share date information. Some big companies like Airbnb, Wimdu, FlipKey and others use iCal to receive simple availability data. They use iCal because it is easy and very simple. Because it is a very basic format of data it is also limited.
We have created a way for you to export your availability in iCal format to these big sales systems. So if you already have an account with Airbnb, FlipKey or company that allows iCal import you can register for our iCal service and use freetobook to export your open/closed dates.
Because of the simplicity of iCal there are limitations. While you can synchronize open/closed dates you cannot give rates, minimum stays or other data. Another important limitation is the data only goes one way freetobook will give you an availability feed for export but we do not import any data from them. This means Wimdu, FlipKey and other sales bookings need to be added to freetobook to keep your diary up to date.
Freetobook has also created a separate iCal feed for all your bookings. This is a private feed which you can use in your iPhone or other mobile device to keep up with your bookings on the go. Because iCal is a standard format for calendar data there are many ways to view your bookings on different calendars.
Freetobook offers both of these iCal services for our customers you can find them in the TAB”Plus” if you already have a freetobook account. If not why not get one today and start enjoying some of the many fantastic booking solutions provided by freetobook.
Freetobook is a Internet Booking Engine with many added services and connections to the world’s biggest sales systems like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, HostelWorld and many others : find out more about freetobook on our home page.
Freetobook channel manager keeps on growing with the new connection to HostelWorld you now get even more distribution. This is great news for Hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses and hotels using freetobook.
(HostelWorld includes Hostels.com and also BedandBreakfastWorld.com)
Hostels will be listed on HostelWorld.com and Hostels.com websites
Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and Guest Houses will be listed on BedandBreakfastWorld.com and also HostelWorld.com
HostelWorld has a comprehensive selection of hostels with over 35,000 places to stay in 180 countries. Take advantage of an extensive affilate network with 3,500 global affilate partners including Lonely Planet and Travellers point.
Commission payments to HostelWorld and BedandBreakfastWorld tend to be lower than many of the other worldwide OTAs so you may end up getting more bookings for a lower commission.
Freetobook will continue to add functionality to our channel manager so you get more distribution for less…
If you are already a freetobook customer you can click the PLUS Tab and select channel manager to get these new channels. If you don’t yet have a freetobook account find out more about freetobook here. To find out more about the freetobook channel manager click here.
We are always looking for new ways to increase exposure and bookings for clients so we are very happy to announce we have just completed a full integration with Agoda. They are one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and growing very rapidly elsewhere…. all are very good reasons to connect with them.
– a simple and quick registration process via the PLUS tab in freetobook.
– additional bookings from the fast growing Asian markets through the regional market leader.
– a competitive commission rate – all pre-paid by customers meaning low cancellation %.
– increased exposure with their targeted promotions and weekly newsletters (going to 7 million members in 25 languages).
We are really happy to say that our experience thus far of Agoda has been nothing but positive, they are very focused, efficient and friendly.
Freetobook is proud to have been awarded Preferred IT Provider status with Booking.com
Great Technology doesn’t just happen ! Its also rather difficult to describe but when you see it, when you use it, you just know its good. At freetobook we take considerable pride in our work and our booking system solutions are renowned for their time saving functionality and their ease of use.
Along the way we work with many technology companies and there is none more switched on to the internet and the way online booking should work than Booking.com. This is why they sell more than 500,000 room nights every 24 hours and work with over 368,000 properties in 190 countries.
From our experience most of the worlds accommodation owners are looking for ways to get more connected and enjoy more distribution, at freetobook we get this message and so does booking.com.
In business great companies will seek each other out to work together, we enjoy working with the best in the booking world and are also very proud to have it recognised in the preferred IT provider status awarded by booking.com
Make no mistake, TripAdvisor is a booking website.
It started off being only about reviews. But you just have to browse it for a few minutes these days as a customer to see that it’s encouraging you to check availability and make online bookings at every turn.
How has this come about? Over the last six months or so, TripAdvisor have been busy developing software that can connect rates and availability to a vast array of booking systems and online travel agents. These links facilitate live rates, availability and booking on TripAdvisor itself. It’s pretty clear (to us at least) that they want every property in the world to be bookable on their website and to do this they have made the connections to as wide a variety of systems as possible.
What does this mean to property owners? Well, one thing is certain: if you don’t have some way to feed your rates and availability to TripAdvisor, you will lose bookings to properties that can. You will not be included in many of the searches customers perform on TripAdvisor and this means that you, the unconnected, will lose bookings to the connected. To win, you have to make sure you are one of the connected.
There is no excuse for missing out. Because TripAdvisor has connected with a massive range of booking engines, every property in the world will be able to get bookings from it. You only have to pick a system and get online. As for cost, TripAdvisor will charge on a pay-per-click basis for clicks through to whichever booking engine you’ve chosen.
So don’t let any more TripAdvisor bookings slip through your fingers or leak out to the property nearby. Get connected via freetobook today.
Is overbooking a sign of marketing success, process failure or just bad luck?
There’s a real stigma attached to over/double booking. Why?
Is it the failure to deliver on a personal promise made to your customer?
Or is it the fear of your contractual obligation once a booking has been made?
In these days of litigious customers and a compensation “culture”, it’s no wonder that small businesses err on the side of caution. These valid concerns appeal to our most human of instincts: fear. Yet when you de-construct the problem, it’s not as bad as looks!
Most businesses need to maximise their chances of getting bookings and the most effective place for this is online. The more places you can be found and booked, the more bookings you are likely to attract. But by increasing your exposure online you may also increase the risk of double booking.
Many businesses have held back from maximising their online advertising for fear of double or overbooking. There must be thousands of lost bookings every night because businesses don’t feel confident offering their full availability.
So if you sell across a variety of places online (i.e. channels like Booking.com, Bed & Breakfast websites etc.) then you need to ensure various systems are kept in sync. It’s time consuming and can be a stressful process.
One option is to show only a selection of rooms on each channel, so they are distinct and when they run out they can’t overbook. It’s not very efficient and you need to know what channels will sell what rooms best and when.
Another solution is to have your booking system linked to your various sales websites (or channels), so that your one diary keeps all the other channels up-to-date. This means any phone bookings you add to your diary update all the channels and any website bookings automatically appear in your diary. This technology is usually called “channel management”.
When you consider the benefits of extra exposure, additional bookings and time saved updating various sites – not to mention the end of all that worrying – channel management can represent great value. Ideally you want a channel manager that works with the key channels, is flexible and isn’t too expensive. There are some clever “pay-as-you-go” options available where you pay according to the number of bookings you receive.
This technology can free up a lot of time and allow you to disappear for the odd week (or longer) without having to take the mobile phone and diary with you!
Even if you don’t go for any of the above options, I would stress that the fear of an overbooking should not stop you selling your rooms.
After all, the definition of overbooking is the deliberate practice of hotels to take more bookings than they can accommodate in order to avoid empty rooms, on the basis that there will be no-shows and cancellations.
This is hardly a claim that could reasonably be levelled at a B&B or guest house. Most customers, if contacted quickly, will understand that with modern technology it’s a rare possibility and not a result of negligence or greed on your part.
That’s a different story if you are a large hotel that regularly overbooks and then “bumps” or “moves” a customer on arrival and just blames someone else! Been there and got the scars to show it!
One of the most exciting things on the horizon for freetobook is our new connection with VisitScotland.
VisitScotland has a new accommodation search system that allows all B&Bs, guest houses, small hotels etc in Scotland to be displayed regardless of their relationship with VisitScotland itself (this is known as a “polling” system).
What this means is that very soon all Scottish freetobook properties will be able have their rates and availability appearing on VisitScotland’s site whenever a prospective customer does an accommodation search.
1st June is the current “go live” date for VisitScotland’s new system. Keep checking our blog for further details and updates.