About this channel manager sync option
- iCal is a universal connection type that most channels use. This is a good option when there is not an available API connection
- The connection is limited to only a few pieces of information such as Guest name, check-in/out, and sometimes an email address
- iCal connection will only connect your Calendar's availability. Rates, listing descriptions, and other information will not sync
- Only future reservations will be imported and exported
- Every event in the imported iCal feed is treated as a reservation. For example, if you block dates in a channel and they are exported in the iCal, you will receive a reservation called "Blocked". If you unblock them, the reservation will be canceled
Connection custom channel by iCal
- Before you start, please ensure you have everything needed to connect:
- All listings you have on this channel are also created in Hostaway
- The channel supports reservation import and export by iCal
- You understand how iCal and filtering work
- Setup your connection per listing:
- Import reservations
- Log in to your Hostaway account and go to menu Channel Manager > Channels
- Click on "Activate" or "Configure" for Custom iCal
- In the new window, at the top, you select the listing you like to map and click on "+ Add new"
- In the new window, enter the iCal you have from your sales channel
- Give it a channel name
- Give it a description
- Ignore phrases in the Summary field: For example, when you send blocked dates due to an Airbnb reservation to a channel, it sometimes will send back, SUMMARY: BLOCKED. When you import this Blocked event it will create a new "reservation" in Hostaway and due to this you have a fake "double booking warning". The filter allows you to add "BLOCKED" as a filter so all events will be ignored if they contain BLOCKED in the summary field
- Ignore phrases in the Description field: Same function as above
- Import empty Summary fields: When you look into your iCal file with an editor like Notepad++, you can review if your channel is sending reservation events with an empty Summary field. If this is the case, you can allow it to be imported. Some other channels might send these empty events for example because it is a holiday on their channel. In that case, it is not a reservation and you should block empty fields
- Import empty Description fields: Same function as above
- Save the new iCal import and verify in Hostaway > Reservation menu if the correct reservations are imported. When you need to adjust it, remove the channel and try again
- Export reservations
- In your Hostaway account, go to the menu Listings
- Click on the "Get iCal" button and copy the URL
- Use the URL with the import external reservations function that your rental channel supports
- Import reservations
Hostaway listing iCal links should not be used to map other Hostaway listings between each other. You should use the cross-listing feature instead.
There are hundreds of reasons why a setup might not work. Hostaway support is only able to investigate your setup when you send over exact detailed information in case of an error. Please always provide the iCal export link of your channel, if the reservation-related topic, and full reservation details including when the reservation was made, what happened, and what you expect to happen.
Custom iCal Reservation Sync Time
Syncing reservations by iCal is a traditional way that takes generally 30 minutes up to multiple days to complete.
Custom iCal reservations are imported every 30-60 minutes into the Hostaway software. For exporting, it would depend on the channel pick-up time and we can estimate around 60-180 minutes.
If you manually accessed the same iCal as used in Hostaway, it takes another 2 hours before the Hostaway software can access it again. To learn more about channel sync time read this article.