All About iCal
Nomad Stays can accept your iCal feeds from your calendaring system.
Up-To-Date Room Availability is Critical
It's vital that your room availability is always up to date with Nomad Stays.
It's not worth having your Stay delisted because you overbooked or don't accept our bookings.
PMS, Channel Manager of Online Calendaring Systems
To keep availability up to date many Stays use some form of PMS, Channel Manager, or online Calendaring system to make it easy to let all their agents automatically know of their availability.
These systems work by having 1 single source of Availability information that is automatically shared with many other party's computer systems.
The iCal Format
The iCal format / system is one of the most popular technologies used by many Channel Manager systems.
iCal is short for iCalendar and is a global technology standard for sharing calendar info. While it wasn't designed for the hospitality industry specifically it's certainly become one of the big standards these days.
Here's an example iCal URL address:
Nomad Stays needs at least your iCal feeds from your calendaring systems.
Booking.com, VRBO, Airbnb, Smoobu and many others all have iCal feeds that Nomad Stays can read.
When you give us the iCal feed URL (its internet address) for one of your rooms we insert this into the Room Record for that same room you've listed on Nomad Stays. From now on we pull a copy of your iCal Availability from your master source.
Tested iCal Suppliers
Most iCal suppliers in hospitality work the same. Here's a list of the ones we've tested
Find your iCal URLs.
Here are some tips on finding your room's iCal address.
If you have several rooms, then it's likely you'll already have multiple iCal addresses. One iCal address for each of your rooms.
When you send us the iCal URLs, you'll need to tell us which of your rooms each of the URLs matches.
Send us your iCal URLs
Once you've got your iCal URLs simply send it to us via email or messaging with the room each belongs to, and we'll test them and insert them into your Room Records.
Limitations with iCal
There are some limitations with the iCal system to be aware of.
iCal 'synchronisation' as it's called happens at fixed time periods as set by each company. So, it's not instant.
Nomad Stays pulls iCal updates every 1 hour for instance whereas other suppliers may not pull as often.
Master iCal Source Preferred
The other thing to be careful of with iCal is to choose the Master source of availability so that everyone gets the fastest update from your best source.
For instance, if 'Smoobu' is the best source then it becomes the 'Master' source, and you should share the 'Smoobu iCAL URL' with Nomad Stays and all your other agents.
If you shared say the Booking.com iCal with Nomad Stays and Booking.com only updated their records from Smoobu every 12 hours, then it could take a total of 14 hours before everyone is updated (12 hours for Booking and then 2 hours for Nomad Stays Stays). This creates a risk of double booking during this unsynchronized time period.
Making Changes to iCal Availability
You need to make changes to your Availability at the Master Source location you've chosen. Nomad Stays just pulls a copy of the data from your Master Source.
So, if you now want to open up rooms that were blocked before then you should edit them in your master source. If you open them up in Nomad Stays only by mistake the edits will be overwritten in an hour when the latest copy of pulled from the Master Source.
What Happens if I don't have an iCal?
We have an Extranet facility at Nomad Stays that allows you to manage your own inventory directly with us.
The Extranet system is open to Stays that are exclusive to Nomad Stays.
If you don't have an iCal, and are not exclusive to Nomad Stays, then we're sorry but you are no longer able to list with Nomad Stays.