Booking Sync

If you also use external services such as Booking.com or Airbnb to sell your booking products, you need to prevent overbookings. To avoid your booking products to be overbooked, you can synchronize their availability with your calendar. Through the option Booking sync available on the product edit page, you can import ICS calendars by adding the names and URLs of the external services.

booking-sync

You can see a sample of how your calendar will be shown in the image below.

calendarview

Two-way sync samples

Follow these samples to apply the two-way sync with Bookign.com and Airb&b.

Sample 1 (Booking.com)

Booking.com -> YITH Booking and Appointment for WooCommerce:

You have to set the iCal URL provided by Booking.com in the Booking Sync tab.

YITH Booking and Appointment for WooCommerce -> Booking.com:

Now set the iCal URL of the Booking product that you find in Booking Sync tab and export it to Booking.com settings through the Export Future ICS URL feature by copying the link and pasting it on Booking.com.

You can import iCal calendars in Booking.com by following this guide: https://partnerhelp.booking.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115005213509-How-to-export-or-import-a-calendar

Sample 2 (Airb&b.com)

Airb&b.com -> YITH Booking and Appointment for WooCommerce:

You have to set the iCal URL provided by Airb&b.com in the Booking Sync tab.

YITH Booking and Appointment for WooCommerce -> Airb&b.com

Now set the iCal URL of the Booking product that you find in Booking Sync tab and export it to Airb&b.com settings through the Export Future ICS URL feature by copying the link and pasting it on Airb&b.com.

You can import iCal calendars in Booking.com by following this guide: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/99/how-do-i-sync-my-airbnb-calendar-with-another-calendar

booking-sync

 

External calendars

In the plugin Settings section, you can find these two options:

  • Sync Expiration
  • Show externals in calendar

external-calendar

The Sync Expiration is the minimum time for which the external sync is considered expired.
By way of example, if you set this option to 30 minutes and synchronize a Booking product now (by contacting external services such as Airbnb or Booking.com), the loaded data will expire in 30 minutes.
So, if a customer checks the availability now, the plugin uses the loaded data as it is not still expired. After 30 minutes, the data will be no longer updated automatically, since it requires to be synchronized again.
If a customer checks the availability after 1 hour, the plugin will consider the data as expired and will update the external data to check the correct availability.
It is recommended to set this option to a reasonable value to improve performance. Therefore, if you usually get a booking every 6 hours, you can set Sync Expiration to 2 hours.
As a general rule, 30 minutes is a good sync expiration time for every Booking system.
Please note: Airbnb synchronizes external bookings every 2 hours.
By enabling the option Show externals in calendar, external bookings will show in Booking > Calendartoo.
For a better understanding of the two different sync systems, please, refer to this page too.

Google Calendar Sync or Product Sync?

Google Calendar Sync

Thanks to the integration with Google Calendar, the admin can view bookings on his/her own Google Calendar. The booking synchronization is a one-way sync (from your site to Google Calendar).

The Google Calendar sync is available only for the admin: you can set a unique Google Calendar account to synchronize all bookings with your Google Calendar (in YITH > Booking > Google Calendar)

Google Calendar sync

This feature is useful to see all bookings in a Google Calendar, but it’s not useful to prevent overbooking.

iCal Booking Sync

On the other hand, with regards to “Booking synchronization with external services” (such as Airbnb and Booking.com), you can add youe own ICS files (iCal) to synchronize a specific product with external services in “Edit product” page > Booking Sync tab.

iCal sync

  1. you can set the external calendars
  2. you can use this URL to add it to your external services

However, you cannot use the iCal Booking Sync to manage bookings through Google Calendar; or better, you can create 2 calendars (One and Two) on Google Calendar

  • add the Booking iCal URL to your Google Calendar One
  • add the iCal url of your Google Calendar Two in the external calendars table (in Booking Sync tab)

This to prevent double sync issues.

However, on the other hand, about iCal, Google Calendar synchronizes external calendars each XX hours, so if you create a booking in your site it’ll be not synchronized instantaneously by Google Calendar, but it’ll be synchronized after some hours.
Google specifies it could take up to 12 hours to be synchronized (you can read it here: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/37100?hl=en&ref_topic=1672445)