Airbnb iCal export changes


  • Explorer

    I received the following email from Airbnb the other day and am wondering how this affects what MyVR syncs with the reservation system. I am not integrated so I'm interested in the effects this will mean for us MyVR users who are not integrated.

    Email from Airbnb:
    As part of Airbnb’s ongoing efforts to minimize exposure of guest information, exported iCal events will no longer display reservation details. These changes will take effect on December 1, 2019.
    What’s changing?
    The iCal calendar sync description for reservations will display only the last 4 digits of the guest phone number, along with a link to the reservation details page. The guest name and reservation code will be removed from the event titles, and the calendar sync will export listing calendar information for future dates only.
    The following information will be provided for each reservation exported via iCal moving forward:
    Summary: Will appear as “Reserved”
    Description: Will include a “Reservation URL” section with the link to the reservation details page and a “Phone Number (Last 4 Digits)” section with the last 4 digits of the guest’s phone number
    What does this mean for hosts?
    If you rely on detailed information from the iCal calendar sync descriptions, you may need to make updates or alert your software partners to the changes above so they’re ready when they take effect on December 1, 2019.
    These changes won’t impact iCal’s syncing functionality—your calendar will continue to prevent multiple guests from booking the same dates.
    We appreciate your help in making Airbnb a trusted community for all.
    Thanks for being a host,
    The Airbnb Team


  • MyVR Employee

    Hey Mary,

    Thanks for the question! There are some upcoming changes to Airbnb's iCal exports, but for the most part, they will have minimal impact to MyVR customers.

    I'll start by highlighting this change does not affect customers using our full, direct integration with Airbnb. The upcoming change only impacts customers importing Airbnb iCal calendars.

    For those customers on MyVR who are importing from Airbnb using iCal, the impacts of the change will be minimal. We will continue to import calendar events as we currently do, distinguishing between reservations and non-reservation events. Your availability in MyVR will be kept in sync with the data in your Airbnb account.

    Unfortunately, since Airbnb will no longer be providing the renter's name in the iCal feed, we will no longer be able to add the renter's name to the calendar event. Instead, they will appear as generic, nameless reservation calendar events from Airbnb. If we've already imported the calendar event and have the name stored, we'll continue to display the guest name for those calendar events. Additionally, Airbnb is planning to stop providing historical reservations via the iCal integration, so any historical events that haven't already been imported will not make their way to your MyVR account.

    If there are customers worried about the impact of these changes, I would highly recommend considering an upgrade to a direct integration. Our direct integration is a full-featured connection to Airbnb that allows you to populate your listing content (description, photos, rates, fees, etc) from your property information in MyVR, as well as receive and manage bookings and inquiries from your centralized MyVR dashboard. We provide full access to all the features and functionality you have in your Airbnb account directly from your centralized MyVR dashboard. And in this particular case, you would be able to import the full set of reservation data into your account, including renter contact information and historical reservations.

    Cheers,
    Mike


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