Working with Calendar Channels (ical connection)

Many OTA portals can use iCAL for real-time availability checking - Air B&B, Vrbo (Homeaway), FlipKey, 9Flats, ...

What is Calendar Channel?

Calendar channels, otherwise known as Vacation Rental Sites, have become very popular in recent years as the typical traveler has become more internet savvy.  These channels provide travelers with many options, from renting low cost bedrooms to booking stays at palatial estates.  These channels have tapped into the public's desire to stay in "real" places away from tourist areas.

If your property is not marketed correctly, calendar channels can become a real competitive threat.  Thankfully, WebBookingPro has you covered as we can integrate with any calendar channel that uses the standard iCal format.

How are Calendar Channels different from normal channels?

With a typical channel (such as with od Agoda), WebBookingPro has a direct connection where we can send many values, such as:

  • Rates
  • Availability
  • Restrictions (such as MinLos, Closed to Arrival, etc)

Calendar-based channels work differently from those channels. With calendar channels, we provide them with a special calendar file that contains "appointments". This is similar to placing an appointment on your personal calendar, but in this case, the appointments lasts an entire night. Dates that are not booked are "empty", so they remain Available for booking.

With Calendar channels, WebBookingPro can only send Availability with support for Closed dates. All other values must be set directly in the channel's extranet, such as:

  • Rates
  • Restrictions (such as MinLos, Closed to Arrival, etc)

How Availability is Updated?

Your availability is constantly updated based on the reservations and other data that is sent to WebBookingPro. With this information, WebBookingPro updates the calendar file in real-time with your updated Availability.

Although these files are constantly updated by WebBookingPro, the calendar channel itself only "asks" for new information in the file approximately every 6 hours.

For Airbnb specifically, they "pull" data from WebBookignPro every hour. This is their native update timeframe.

Some channels use calendar check in real-time.

Two-Way versus One-Way Calendar Channels

All Calendar Channels are considered One-Way channels. If you choose to use iCAL Connection, you will have to manually adjust inventory for any incoming bookings coming from those channels.

Example: Let's say you choose to connect HomeAway (Vrbo) to WebookingPro. Here is the chain of events:

  • WebBookingPro takes your Available inventory, and provides that in a calendar file to Homeaway
  • Every 6 hours or so, Homeaway pulls information from that file and updates their calendar with your Availability
  • When a guest books your property, Homeaway emails you the booking and places the booking in their Extranet
  • Since Homeaway does not send us this booking, WebBookingPro has no idea that the room has been booked
  • The property must login to WebBookingPro and manually reduce the Availability for the rooms and dates that have been booked - or make "Quick Reservation" - we suggest creating Quick Reservation
  • Once the property has confirmed that the room is still Avaialble, the property is safe to "confirm" the Homeaway booking.

How to handle Cancellations?

Cancellations from a calendar channel cannot be transmitted to any 3rd parties (including WebBookingPro).

Since WebBookingPro is unaware of any Calendar Channel cancellations, the property must manage the inventory manually.


  • Guest cancels the booking
  • WebBookingPro is unaware of the cancellation
  • Property must login to WebBookingPro and add the Availability back for the cancelled booking (if desired) - or cancel "Quick Reservation" he created for that iCAL booking

OK, I am aware of all situations with iCAL - how to connect with OTA?

Every OTA has in his extranet part where you enter direct link (URL) to iCAL for each room type.

Those links are created by WebBookingPro.

Log in WebBookingPro, go to Hotel Management - Hotel Info and find [Settings] under Channel Manager.

if you do not see iCAL under listed Channel Managers, choose "Add New", select iCAL and click "Create".

Now click on [Map Rooms] under iCAL row and you will find all links for your property.

For each property room type or room or house/Villa you will find those links:

Copy those links and past them in your desired OTA's extranet.