Why we charge extra for Extranets
The big international booking sites a.k.a extranets, are the sites that generate the most bookings for our clients and have connections which are very different compared to the rest of the websites we integrate with.
What makes extranets different is that we push rates and availability up to them, instead of them drawing rates and availability from our server, which is what occurs with the local sites that use XML. This is due to the way we integrate to them initially.
When we integrate with an extranet, they provide us with their API (Application Programming Interface) which will indicate how the extranet reads and displays information such as rooms and booking details in their code. Our developers would then have to setup the code on our side to connect to the extranet using the API they provide us. For the local sites, we provide them with our API, so they have to code the connection on their side, and no additional work is done from our side.
Unlike the other websites, all the information needs to be set up on the extranets directly, we cannot send it up from your NightsBridge setup. This includes things like room types, meal plans, deposit policy T&C and payment methods.
Setting up a connection to an extranet is referred to as mapping. This is when we connect the rooms types and meal plans on our side, to the room types and rate codes on the extranet. We have to wait for the extranet to advise us when the property is ready to be mapped and then we will do it on our side.
Due to all the additional work as mentioned above (initially as well as the continuous monitoring of the links), an additional R40 fee per hotelID per month is added to a NightsBridge invoice. This ensures that we can have a separate team on our side dedicated to looking after these connections.
The R40 fee might feel a lot at first, but if you consider that you do not have to do any manual work when receiving bookings through the extranets, and that the connection automatically closes out availability on them if you get a booking via other means, the time saved is very valuable.