1 What is Freetobook
It’s a professional online booking solution that works for all independent accommodation. We are all unique individuals and like us our properties all have their own particular character. We need a booking engine that works the way we like to work, Freetobook is designed for different property types.
2 Why do we have an availability and booking system?
Visitors to the Association website expect to find live rates and availability. They want to find the right accommodation and book it there and then. In particular they want to see what property is free at any time without having to interrogate individual properties. Without it our Members will lose out because customers will jump from site to site until they find one they can book online.
3 Why Freetobook?
It’s a family-run company that has been going since 1998. We’ve met the owners, Craig & Iain Stewart, they have a good reputation and understand our needs. Selecting the right online booking engine is an important decision. You need to know it is right for you, your business and your customers.
There is no commission or contract with Freetobook, it offers good customer service, is cost effective for the Association, easy to use and straightforward to add to your website.
4 How does it work?
1. Register, login and set up your property details, policies, room and board types.
2. Load your existing bookings on your Diary and complete your availability with rates.
3. Simply add your Booking Button to your website.
Customers will visit your website either directly or via the Association website, check availability, check rates and make bookings. You will receive a confirmation email with their details and they will receive confirmation with your contact details.
Your Booking Button is designed to maximise your sales. Freetobook tries to make it easy for your customers to book wherever they find you: your website or your Facebook page, blog, Twitter or any other website.
5 Do I need IT skills to implement it?
No technical skills are required. Anyone can use Freetobook and it is designed to work for first time users. We will provide training and assistance for those that need. You may need IT assistance adding the “Booking Button” to your own website if you have one.
6 How do I sign up for Freetobook?
You can register by clicking on this link
. Once you have signed up and completed your profile and room rates, Freetobook will be ready to feed availability and booking functionality to your website.
7 What types of accommodation can use Freetobook?
Any independent accommodation provider – B&B, guesthouse, pub with rooms, self catering, cottage, campsite, glampsite, property group, hotel or hostel.
to read reviews and testimonials. You will also find case studies from Freetobook customers who are just like you.
8 What type of accommodation is Freetobook not suitable for?
Some property groups and hotels with their own channel management systems may not be able to integrate Freetobook. It may not be suitable for hotels with a very large number of rooms or campsites with a large number of pitches.
9 Do I have to use Freetobook?
There is no obligation. We recognise that some Members have an existing solution that they are happy with. If you do sign up, there is no contract and you can walk away at any time. If Freetobook is suitable, use it as without it, visitors searching our website for available accommodation may not find you.
10 How much does it cost?
Freetobook is free, there is no set-up fee, no annual fee and no commission on bookings from your own website. There is no lock-in contract, you are free to go at any time. The Association will pay a fee for the Association’s service based on the number of accommodation providers signed up.
11 What features do I get?
There are too many to list here – click on this link
to find out what you get for free.
12 Am I tied to a contract?
No contract, you can walk away at any time.
13 If I do not use Freetobook can I show my availability on the Association website?
No, your accommodation availability will not show on the Association’s booking engine. However, your web page on our site can have a link to your own availability page (on your website) irrespective of what system you use.
14 Will my existing page stay on the Association’s website or will I just be listed on the Freetobook page for the area?
Your existing page will be unchanged. Anyone clicking Availability on your page will be taken to your Freetobook page displaying your availability.
15 Can I upgrade and, for example, use the Freetobook payment system?
Freetobook offers some paid-for services and you are welcome to work directly with them but it is not a requirement of our system
16 Will our website show late availability?
Late Availability will not be displayed on our website. Instead users will enter the dates that they wish book and we will show accommodation that is available at that time. If you are not using the Freetobook, you will not be included even if your property is free.
17 Will I need a Gold Listing to use Freetobook?
No. The Freetobook availability system is available to any accommodation member for no charge other than the basic membership fee.
18 Can I still have a Gold Listing?
Yes. There are benefits in having a Gold or Silver listings. Further details
19 How does FreetoBook handle reviews?
On the Tourism Association website we display TripAdvisor reviews and there are no plans to change that. FreetoBook maintains its own reviews. When you receive bookings through FreetoBook the client is subsequently invited, by email, to post a review after their stay. In time these reviews will build up, just as they do on TripAdvisor or any other system. When searching for a site users have the option to order responses based on the number of reviews.
20 I use SuperControl (or another) availability system. Will I be listed on the Association’s availability page?
If you do nothing, you will not be listed. However, if you use Freetobook in parallel with your existing system you will be included.
21 Can Freetobook take card payments?
Yes. The free service provided by Freetobook (as the name implies) is a booking system only and no payments are taken. However, Freetobook offer a number of paid additional functions including card payments
22 I already use Freetobook – how can I be integrated into the system?
You must tell us the property name and the Freetobook Property ID – you will find this in the top right corner when you log into Freetobook. If you have more than one property, you must give us the ID for each one that is to be included.
When you send us your details, we ask FreetoBook to add you into our group. Until that is done you will not see the WVFDTA tab on your home page (see FAQ 24). This is normally done by the next working day.
23 Can I see what the search page looks like?
24 I have completed all my details but my property is not listed on the WVFDTA website.
If you log into Freetobook, you should see that there is now a tab “WVFDTA” on the home page. See below.
Your screen won’t be exactly the same as above but you should see something similar if you select “Your Details” in the menu. You must have green ticks against “Profile” and “Rates” – these will ticked once you have entered your data. There must also be a green tick against “User Approved”. There is an “Approve” button” which you should select. Once this is done, the administrator, can approve your entry so that it is added to our integrated system.
None of this affects your use of Freetobook on your own website but it is needed to appear on ours.
25 My listing on FreetoBook doesn’t include any pictures.
You can display pictures in your listing for your property. If you are listing separate rooms (in a B&B) or separate self-catering units, they can have associated units. Select the Profile tab and then Images.
26 If I use Freetobook, will WVFDTA have access to all my data and details of people who have booked with me?
No – we will have no access to any of your data other than that which can been by anyone on the Internet. Your data is held on servers managed by FreetoBook and we have no access to it all.
27. I have entered my rates and approved by property but it is still not showing on the WVFDTA site.
You do have to enter about 6 months of rates (180 days) for the system to work correctly. However, the number of days where rates are declared drops below 162 you will no longer be listed in the group although your own website will continue to work correctly. In this situation you will see red cross against the rates. The solution is simple – add more rates. This makes good business sense to keep your rates declared well into the future.
28. I have images showing at the top of the page but not under individual rooms or units.
See FAQ 25 for how to add images. See the example below. Top left is the main image on the page. Top right is the image for the room or unit (shows under the calendar). You may find that yours have no category as in the bottom line. If so, click Edit and select the room or cottage name.