What is the Jomres Online Booking Network?
The problem today is that OTAs like Homeaway, Booking.com et al dominate the online travel landscape. This makes it much harder for small businesses that run their own booking portals or agencies to get much traction through the search engines. When one of our customers sets up a new site the hardest thing for them to do after setting it up is to raise awareness of their properties with search engines so our goal is to offer a searchable site that guests and search engines can use that will link guests to your sites through a reputable source.
The Jomres Online Booking Network is a feature that we are currently developing that helps new and existing users publicise their Jomres sites with search engines like Google and Bing. It allows you to list a number of properties on our http://onlinebooking.network server which is an installation of Jomres that runs a special plugin called the superserver.
What does it do?
You can think of the OBN server as a directory of Jomres properties listed on your own sites. It doesn't take payments or bookings, instead it allows people to make geographic searches for properties and then when a link is clicked the guest ( or googlebot ) is sent to your own site in a new tab or window. From this point onward the guest is on your site and you are given the opportunity to capture the booking.
How does it work?
Your site and the OBN site work together using the Jomres REST API functionality to first register your site, then to share property information. Your site has to have two special Jomres plugins installed, the Superserver Client plugin, and the Superserver API plugin.
Once these are installed you then register your site with the OBN. To do this you must have a valid Jomres licence key installed on your Jomres site. Once your site is registered with the OBN then the OBN will call your site through the REST API and create corresponding records in the OBN's database. The OBN does not keep records of bookings, tariffs or guest information, therefore it's not possible to perform availability searches through it. Instead it ( currently ) only offers geographic searches.
When will the service be available?
We are currently testing the OBN functionality via it's sandbox site. To date this has proven to be very robust and throughout the autumn of 2017 we expect to perform more tests and to improve the OBN itself. We expect to go live with the OBN very early 2018.
You must have a valid Jomres license key to be listed on the OBN. If your license expires then your properties will be removed from the OBN, although of course any properties on your own sites will continue to be listed.
For a property to be listed it must meet several criteria. To begin with, it must be published on your site and have at least the main property image uploaded.
Different licenses for Jomres offer different numbers of properties you can list on the OBN, so for example you can create a site with a Jomres Portal license which has hundreds of properties listed. Of them, only 10 properties can be listed on the OBN.
Only properties on your sites that have a property type that corresponds with those listed on the OBN will be imported, so for now you cannot list properties like boats, tours or cars etc. This is mainly a technical limitation as we need to find a way of linking different property types that you may create in your sites with those we have. It's not practical to allow you to import your property types into the OBN so we need to find a way to create relationships between your property types and ours in an elegant way.
Do you like this service? Will it be useful to you? How can we make it better for you?
We have already introduced a number of our existing customers to the sandbox testing environment and the feedback from them has been overwhelmingly positive and it encourages us to spend more time on the project. We ask all of our users to feed back any ideas you may have about the service through the forum, the ticket system or the comments here as this will give us a good idea as to whether or not it will help your businesses. Remember, without feedback there's no way for us to tell if this service is a good fit for you so we would encourage you to share any and all of your ideas with us.
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