We are proud to announce the release of version 3.2 of the Instant World Booking XML API. This release includes new Get Bookings (Reservations) features and Calendar Allocation features.
Previously, the “getbookings” function allowed limited ability to request reservations for specific dates. Now, since version 3.1 (released April 3, 2011), new selection criteria have been added to query reservations by 1) booking date, 2) modification date, or 3) guest arrival date. See section 3.3 of the API Guide.
Additionally, several important new features have been added to the “setallocation” and “getroomtypes” functions.
- Promotional discounts for advance booking – a discount to be applied to the base rate if a reservation is booked early (i.e., at least the specified “days” prior to arrival date).
- Promotional discounts for lengthy stays – a discount to be applied to the base rate if a reservation is longer than the specified minimum # days.
- Enhanced Minimum Stay function – The minimum stay functionality now allows the user to apply specific stay limits for various date ranges. Because of these enhancements the former <minstay>, <minstay_weekend>, and <maxstay> elements have been deprecated, and will no longer be available after September 30, 2011. Version 3.2 introduces the new <minstays> element, which replaces the former functionality.
For more information about these enhanced features, please see section 3.1.1 and 3.2.1.c of the new guide.
Instant World Booking API XML Manual
As a reminder, the Instant World Booking XML API also includes a full White Label Affiliate Program API (see section 2.0). This API enables users to implement a complete white-label online booking solution on their website, suitable for booking hotels, hostels, and B&B inns.
New for 2011, we are proud to announce the release of version 3.0 of Instant World Booking’s XML API Guide. This is a major release, now featuring full XML support for white-label affiliate programs.
Instant World Booking’s affiliate programs are suitable for any website where travel and accommodation content is desired, including the ability to host a full-fledged online booking service. For example, members of our affiliate program can access almost unlimited data pertaining to accommodations, their amenities, and availability. Developers can therefore integrate this data into their websites to completely control their users’ experience. In other words, a white-label travel information and booking service can be achieved using the XML API.
See Affiliate XML API Guide
Our XML API continues to support full 2-way automatic update of availability calendars. This functionality is suitable for individual property managers, accommodation chains, consolidators, channel managers, front desk systems, property management systems (PMS), and even other booking engines. In fact, anyone who is tired of managing their calendar manually, or updating multiple booking systems, can use our XML API to achieve perfect synchronization automatically.
Many hotels or hostels don’t want to manage yet another availability calendar. But, why is the instant booking calendar really better than the online request method? Instant World Booking has discussed this at some length, but for many hotels, the choice continues to be request-only. There are clear advantages to the instant booking method that far outweigh any administrative inconveniences. In the end, online requests always end up with some degree of frustration for hotel administrators. Here’s why instant booking using an online calendar is best in almost every situation:
- The vast majority of users searching accommodation on the internet want instant gratification. If they have to wait for a response to a request, they disappear quickly. With instant booking, you capture the booking immediately, before they have time to search elsewhere.
- Instant booking has a much higher reservation success rate because of (1) above.
Some users will submit a request simply to find out what rates are, and have no intention to book soon. This forces the hotel to respond to requests that will never turn into reservations.
- A percentage of all users never receive the response email because they are using some free email service (e.g., hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc.) that blocks mail from new senders as spam, and they don’t realize that this is happening. This is a simple fact that affects virtually all online services these days. A user that falls into this category will either disappear or complain that they never received a response. Nevertheless, with instant booking, this is never a problem, since the user receives confirmation directly while they’re still online.
- Hotel and hostel managers that are concerned with maintaining a calendar online have many options available to them. If they don’t want to use our interface directly, they can use one of several third party interfaces that feed into our system. You can contact us for recommendations, or get more information at: XML feed for availability calendars
- The risk of an occasional overbooking is more than offset by the higher level of bookings, income, and benefits mentioned above that can be achieved with the instant booking method.
The following is a list of calendar management systems currently linking to Instant World Booking. What this means is that these 3rd party systems, whether CMS, Channel Management systems, availability calendars, property management, or front desk software systems, provide an interface to automatically update your calendar on the Instant World Booking network.
If you are currently working with another 3rd party system like those described above, tell them you want to be able to feed your availability directly to Instant World Booking. Typically, services will respond positively to their clients’ requests of this type.
If you wish to check out one of the services listed above, please do so, and tell them you heard about them from Instant World Booking. Frequently, services will be happy to offer special introductory pricing if they know their partners are referring new business to them. So, it can’t hurt to ask.
Instant World Booking now offers a convenient new way to update availability calendars for hostels, hotels, and bed & breakfasts. Our XML API/interface for uploading calendar availability is available for:
- Property Managers
- Hostel chains and National Associations of lodgings
- Channel Management systems
- Other booking engines
In fact, anyone who is tired of managing availability manually, or updating systems on multiple booking engines, doesn’t have to. Don’t spend hours trying to manage availability manually, or learning additional systems. Our simple XML file format is easy to use and easy to upload. We can offer assistance to anyone in need of help integrating an automatic allocation of rooms/beds on the Instant World Booking network.
If you are currently using another front end system for managing your available rooms and beds, let us know. If we already interface with their system, you can upload your availability to us automatically. If we don’t currently interface with your provider, call them up today and tell them you want to upload your calendar allocation to Instant World Booking.
To get started with our XML API, begin by checking out our manual, or send it to your developer:
Instant World Booking API XML Manual
For more information, contact us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are searching for an inexpensive front end system for managing multiple booking engines, check out http://myallocator.com/. You can also contact us for other recommendations.
For a list of some 3rd party calendar management systems currently linking to Instant World Booking, please see: