- Show Room Type Calendars – To enable a Room Type menu to appear below the calendar in the inquiry page of the booking engine, so that guests can see availability for specific Room Types, choose YES. Useful for properties with many room types, or properties where each room type is a unique room such as a Vacation Rental or a B&B with theme rooms.
- Number of Guests: Don't prompt for number of guests on enquiry page – Every Room Type has a Maximum Capacity. If you prompt for 'the number of guests' on the enquiry page, then results will be limited to Room Types with capacity to match the number of guests. In fact, guests often book several rooms; if you limit the available options to rooms that match the group capacity then you may miss out on bookings. For example, 4 people may prefer to book 2 Double Rooms (max capacity 2) rather than a Family Room (max capacity 4). If you want to ask for Number of Guests, choose YES.
- Show Guest Types – Choose YES. to enable the booking engine to display Guest Types during the booking process.
- Use Promo Codes- Choose YES. to enable the use of Promo codes set up in My Agents.
- Advertise rates tax exempt - if your property is in a tax jurisdiction that allows you to advertise rates without taxes included in the rate advertised (such as most USA properties); or if your property is tax exempt(rare case); tick this box.
- Display room capacity and number of beds on results page – displays under each available room on the results screen - helpful information.
- Number of Rooms Available – on the results screen, there is a column that will display the number of available rooms for ach room type. Some properties want to prefer to hide this information.
- Display Room Type Thumbnails – Displays a small thumbnail image of the room type on the results page. (Front Desk)
- Display Restricted Rates – if you wish to show restricted rates with an explanation of the restriction – such as a minimum stay or maximum stay – then select this. If not checked, then only bookable rates will show on your Booking Engine requests. It is recommended to always have this option turned on so the guest receives a message like: This rate plan requires a two night minimum to book. (Front Desk)
- Show Rate descriptions – This displays the rate description in addition to the rate value. Example: Spa Package rate : $220.00 per night.
- Rooms to Display – Defines maximum number of types to display on results page. 0 = unlimited.
- Don't ask for Dietary Information – if you serve meals and need to know preferences, choose ASK..
- Don't ask for Special Needs Information – if you want guests to indicate special needs choose ASK..
- Phone number Mandatory – if you require a phone number with every booking, choose YES.
- Address Mandatory - if you require an address with every booking, choose YES.
- Use Sources – if you want to turn on the ability for guest to select where they heard about your property, choose YES. (Setup Sources)
- Source mandatory – if you want to make it a requirement that the guest selects where they heard about your property, choose YES.
- Guest Must Agree to Terms – some people suggest that the terms and conditions at the time of booking are a binding agreement. Requiring the guest to agree to your terms may help you in case of disputes. Choose YES to make this a requirement means a guest has to physically CLICK the 'I Agree' before completing the booking.
- Weekly Rates - If you do not use weekly rates, then choose NO.
- Auto Room Assignment - This flag determines if online bookings are automatically assigned a room when made online. If checked, online bookings will get a room assignment made automatically. If no single room is available to hold the booking (as most OTAs and GDS systems book into a 'Type' not a specific 'room' there can be no single room available for the stay) the booking will be placed into an OVER room for the days unable to assign and staff will have to manually resolve the conflict. (GDS)
- Allow non Continuous Bookings – This flag tells the booking engine if it should check to make sure a single room is available continuously during the queried method. This flag is unchecked by default as most guests do not wish to change rooms during their stay. When unchecked the booking engine will only show results when there is a room continuously available for the length of stay, on all queries five days and shorter in length.
- Do not use Multi Lingual Engine – Choose YES, if you want to turn off the multi-lingual functionality of the booking engine. See Multi-Lingual Booking Engine
- Round Bookings to Whole Number – Choose YES to round bookings
- System Theme Color - Changes the background colors of the Enquiry screens used by guests to make bookings. Select from the picker or place in your HEX values.
- Maximum Book Ahead days - Choose YES to place a value in this box to allow guest to book x number of days in the future – note, this does not affect GDS and Global Booking Network sites, they can always book 365 days in advance, so place rates for at least these many days if distributing to them.
- Check for Clean Rooms if booking is less than x hours from Checkin - The Booking Engine technology can allow a Room 'clean/dirty' check before allowing a booking. If you place a value in this field, the Room Status will be checked to make sure at least one room of the type is set to CLEAN x hours before arrival time. The arrival time time is set in the General Settings under Check In Time. Thus, if you want to make sure only rooms that are set CLEAN can be booked 24 hours to arrival time, then you would make your "Minimum Booking Lead Time (hours in advance)" to be 0 (so even 'same day' bookings can be made); and the "Check for Clean Rooms if booking is less than x hours from Checkin" to be 24; thus if your Arival Time is set as 3 pm (15:00) then a room would have to be set as CLEAN for any booking that wanted to book between 3 pm 'today' and 'tomorrow' in order to show as available. This allows one to continue selling online bookings ( even enabling 'Self Checkin' and self-booking for walkins) as long as there is a Room that is set Clean and available.
- Email notification of web site bookings Remember every new booking will debit availability for future bookings. In addition, the system can send the property notification of bookings by e-mail or SMS. You also have the option to send an automated booking confirmation to the guest. Choose YES to receive an email confirmation when a booking is made on your website:
- Email booking confirmation to guests: Choose YES to send an email confirmation to a guest when they make a booking on your website:
- Check for Clean Rooms if booking is less than x hours from Checkin: Set the number of hours (0-24) prior to your check in time (check in times are listed on General Setting tab) that you want the system to run a secondary availability query based on room status of clean. Typical booking engine queries are based on room type availability for the dates selected. If this setting has a 1 or greater, we then then look at a room status "clean" as a subset of the types
SMS and Web Tracking Options
- SMS Active – Choose YES, if you want to activate SMS. This will send a special message to the operator. There is a set-up fee, monthly fees and a per message fee to receive SMS booking confirmations. Please call +1-707-847-3922 ext.201 for a quote.
- Web Address after booking – Place the website address you wish the Booking Engine the guest to after completing a booking.
- Online Items Headers – The Booking Engine has a place where you can use HTML in order to make a 'storefront' or guests' ability to add Inventory Items to their bookings. For example, you may want to sell tours and services with a booking. Items will allow you to upload pictures and descriptions for Items. This Header area is simply an area where you can introduce those Ietms you wish to sell via the Booking Engine. There are no commissions on the value of Item sales. If you do not use this feature ignore the box titled Online Items Header. If you do use this feature, enter the Header text or HTML that will display above your Inventory Items.
- Example for Cape Schanck Lightstation - http://requests.bookingcenter.com/enquiry.phtml?site=SHANCK
- Web Tracking Code – This area is available for customers who are members of the Marketing Services Organization (MSO service) and use the Booking Engine provided by BookingCenter in order to track website customers, analyze a ROI ('return on investment') for your SEO/SEM, or simply analyze your 'look to book' ratio. Our Web Tracking code won't work for customers who use XML interfaces to our system, either those designed by their webmaster, or any of the Booking Engine products that interface to BookingCenter (such as BookingSuite, Odysys, Easy Innkeeping, GuestCentric, etc). If you are using an XML interface to our system, ask that provider to provide a similar function for you.
- The basic Web Tracking Code and the Web Tracking Code Last Page are detailed in a help article we provide here. Have your webmaster or SEO/SEM provider read that article. While BookingCenter support staff will paste Web Tracking code into your BookingCenter product, we cannot troubleshoot its success/failure for you unless we were hired as your Booking Engine developer to make a customized Booking Engine. What we advise is to add a User in BookingCenter to allow your SEO/SEM provider to login to BookingCenter to directly add their code to your Booking Engine settings area. This means he/she can 'tweek' their code until she gets it right for your system. Whoever is going to actually enter the web tracking code, they should learn how to access and make the settings work by reading this article.
- SEO/SEM consultants need to read the two articles referenced above in order to get a technical understanding of how the Web Tracking and Last Page code work. Further, we advise your SEO/SEM consultant make TEST bookings before you accept that their 'tracking' is working. Failure to perform test bookings is a frequent cause of frustration for our customers, so do not bypass this step. Your SEO/SEM consultant should cancel the test bookings via accessing the system or having your staff do so. BookingCenter staff will not cancel test bookings for you or your SEO/SEM consultant, though we will assist you in doing so.
- There are thousands of webmaster who have experience using Google's free tracking codes, so tracking the success of SEO/SEM should not be expensive nor difficult for you. Use of Web Tracking Code is a great investment in marketing.
Custom System Labeling
Custom System Labels are the terms used to describe your Room, Guest and Tax categories in your PMS. The labels entered here will be visible in your PMS system and to your customers when making an online booking, and can be edited at any time in your PMS. These labels can be edited in SETUP | SETTINGS | BOOKING ENGINE SETTINGS. See Booking Engine Settings
You can change the labels to fit your property needs. For example, you may want to label your Room Types Suites, Cabins, Camp sites, Beds, etc. To learn more about how to edit your system label, See Custom System Labeling