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Managing dates & prices externally

Summary

For situations where you wish to feature your tours in TourCMS (in order to benefit from working with distribution partners, agents & hotel concierges) but you are also trading independent of TourCMS (e.g. perhaps with your own reservation system)

Top level concept

You will need to configure (& manage) in TourCMS

  • Images (And make sure that you have turned on Best images in Configuration & Setup - Tours general settings - so TourCMS forces you to upload images that meet premium distribution partner quality standards
  • Descriptions - text descriptions (can be in multiple languages)
  • Business rules - e.g. time cutoffs, minimum & maximum booking sizes
  • Agents (& commission schemes)

The above configuration is pretty straightforward and not onerous

What tends to take the management time is keeping dates & prices accurate between two systems. As a result we have 4 API methods (only usable by Tour Operators only) to search, create, update and delete tour departures plus webhooks that allow you to respond to availability requests and to be notified of bookings.

  • Update TourCMS availability for bookings you receive in your own system
  • Re-price your tours proactively (e.g. to create a yield management system)
  • Create special offers

Date & price management API methods

These API calls work on the raw data (not rounded, not markup applied, no tax, no exchange rates)

A note about booking period cutoffs

If you are linking an external reservation system to TourCMS you can close departures in TourCMS based on cutoffs configured in the external reservation system. i.e. close departures in TourCMS when they are closed in the external system

Any cutoff set in TourCMS WILL take precendence - TourCMS will close your tours at whatever is set in TourCMS, regardless of what data is sent via incoming API. So either set zero cutoffs (if you want the external reservation system to take precedence) or set a different cutoff - if you want TourCMS to cutoff at a different point.

For additional integration

If you are a reservation system and want to connect to TourCMS to feed dates & prices to TourCMS and receive bookings, generally think of the problem in these steps

  1. Use these APIs (above) to create the date & price schedule. E.G. update every 24 hours (& perhaps close individual departure slots when no longer available)
  2. Use the Check availability webhook - when TourCMS receives an availability request, we can send that to you, you can say no, we then won't sell it (IF you miss this step, we will just sell off availability you loaded in step 1)
  3. Booking webhook - so you know when a booking has been received. Only deal with the confirmed booking webhook (and perhaps the cancellation one) i.e. new_confirmed_staff, new_confirmed_web
  4. Booking Show API - use the API to grab the booking and transfer it to your own system
  5. Booking Note API - helpful if you could add a note to the booking record in TourCMS to say that you transferred the booking successfully (or not). This is a big help when dealing with operational issues

On each tour there is a supplier tour code. This is a code that is NOT visible by customers / travel agents. You can use this to store your own tour ID reference ID inside TourCMS. This will be passed to you e.g. on the check availability webhook and on the booking show API. You can update this via the Tour update API or set/edit within the TourCMS backoffice - suppliers tab (on the tour)

On each departure (individual date) there is a supplier note. This is a note that is NOT visible by customers / travel agents. You can use this to store your own reference inside TourCMS per date. This will be passed to you e.g. on the check availability webhook and on the booking show API. You can update this via the Departure update API or set/edit within the TourCMS backoffice - dates & prices

If you are working on the supply side of the TourCMS API (as above), you will use API credentials as per the supplier (not as a TourCMS Marketplace travel agent). This API key must not be distributed to partners (they can access the API via their own API key)

Additionally TourCMS has a tool (called Sync) that can be used to connect to existing 3rd party reservation systems for availability syncronisation and booking transfer. It is built using the public APIs and may cut some time from development projects if you are looking to do a similar system to system integration

If you want to adjust prices / availability on a per travel agent basis and that knowledge is in your 3rd party reservation system, read up on the advanced configuration functionality