Related articles:

When to use iCal?

  1. You currently list properties on multiple channels and intend to connect through full API sync. Some API connections setups take minutes while others take hours or days. This is due to each channel (Airbnb, Vrbo, etc) all designing their APIs differently. Importing/exporting iCals serves as protection from double bookings before completing full sync. You don't have to do this step if your calendar is synced through another means while you work on the full sync setups. 

  2. You don't meet the minimum number of listings required by TripAdvisor to connect through full API sync. iCals enable you to list properties, sync calendars and receive bookings through this channel.  

  3. BUT if you have API integration turned on for a property on one platform, you don't need the iCal for that same platform since it will create problems and delay the transfer of information. Ex: If you have API integration turned on for a property on Airbnb, you don't need the iCal sync for that property with Airbnb. ( but you can still have iCal sync with other channels such as VRBO, TripAdvisor, etc...)

  4. You want to sync your Hostfully calendar to other channels that can't be integrated with Hostfully.

  5. You want to set up a more complicated master-sub linking. More details in this help article: Expansion on Sub Units (Parent/Child units)

How to use it?

  • Log in to the Hostfully Property Management Platform (PMP). Click the drop-down arrow to the right of your Agency Name. Go to Calendar tools.

  • From there, you can Import iCals from other channels to Hostfully or Export an iCal from Hostfully to other channels/Hostfully.


A. IMPORT:

1. Select the tab Calendar Import and Synchronization:

2. Select Property and Provider (channel).

3. Paste the iCal link retrieved from the channel. You can get the iCal from other channels under a section related to Calendars or Availability on the channel admin page for hosts. The iCal link you enter in Hostfully must only provides blocks and reservations made on that site. The iCal can’t contain blocks or reservations already on the Hostfully calendar that were sent to the other site via an iCal export - it will cause a never-ending loop of updates and lead to many issues.


4. Decide if you want to Keep calendar automatically synchronized, then click Import. What is the difference between ticking or not this box?

ONE-TIME IMPORT

(not recommended)

CONTINUOUS SYNC

Use this mode by unticking the box "Keep calendar automatically synchronized"

Use this mode by ticking the box "Keep calendar automatically synchronized"

The system imports the iCal blocks and these blocks are not synced automatically with the iCal.

These blocks exist in Hostfully independently of the iCal and don't function like a reservation either: they don't receive messaging templates nor include price details.

The system copies the iCal blocks into the calendar and keeps them synced automatically with the iCal.

These blocks change when the iCal blocks change.

Blocks will stay on the calendar even when the iCal has been removed and won't change the dates accordingly when the reservations on the iCal change the dates.

You will need to manage these blocks manually

Blocks will be removed from the calendar if the iCal is removed and will change the dates accordingly when the reservations on the iCal change dates.

You don't need to manually manage these blocks.

  • Immediate push update: In Continuous Sync, sometimes there is a delay between your platform and PMP with iCal synchronization (up to 20'). To push an update, you can select Calendar tools, choose your property and the platform you want then press the Sync button.

  • Stop the iCal Continuous sync

For Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com and TripAdvisor: Select the provider then click on Stop Synchronization.

For Other Provider: click Remove on the right of the iCal link.

B. EXPORT:

1. Select the tab Calendar Export.

2. Decide if you want to Include tentative reservations or Include bookings made outside of Hostfully and tick the corresponding boxes. Then, copy the iCal link.

3. Log in to the other channel's website, find the section where you import property iCals and paste the copied link.

Error adding iCal into Hostfully PMP?

If you try adding an iCal link into Hostfully PMP, and receive an error like

Oops! The calendar URL you provided is not a valid iCal or ICS url.

you can check if that's a valid iCal link. Many sites are not compliant with iCal standard or have networking issues such as expired SSL certificate or invalid SSL certificates

One online tool for that is https://icalendar.org/validator.html

Once you input the iCal URL, and hit Validate button, if there are errors returned then likely that's why, and you can reach out to the iCal link source for further help.

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Please let us know if you have any questions/suggestions regarding this topic via the bottom right chat button, or email us support@hostfully.com. Thank you!

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