Week long experience

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5 days 20 hours ago #19282 by Thai-Mc-Tours
Replied by Thai-Mc-Tours on topic Week long experience
Yes, thanks very much Thellie! That's the requirement precisely!!
However it's a moot point now (for us) due to lack of integration between Accommodation & Experiences? I need to now re-think everything and doubtless return to my original methodology - renaming/repurposing Room Types as tours - because adding extra nights' accommodation either side of a pre-booked all-inclusive tour is, well, pretty awkward for the site visitor / customer?
Also, I believe I'm correct that: simply booking two experiences back-to-back isn't immediately possible: I.e., must book the first setting up account while doing so, then add subsequent experiences to the first. I haven't actually tested it yet, but won't each experience also be invoiced separately?

I don't mind doing more work in the background - as long as frontend experience for our guests is seamless.
As I mentioned at the very beginning, our guests are Bikers over 60 years old, not particularly internet savvy, they just want to click on a tour, maybe some extra nights' accom only, probably a couple of extras, one invoice, one deposit, done. Solidres Reservations seems to be flexible enough to allow this, it's a shame Experience has all the nifty displays / search features but IMHO simply isn't suitable for much more than "something to do" while people are already on holiday.

I've been experimenting with coupons, e.g., book the tour & we insert a coupon code into the invoice - free accommodation for the duration of the tour. I thought about charging separately for tour & accommodation but (when tour IS the holiday, not an add-on) can guarantee at least 30% won't read it properly, get annoyed because they THOUGHT tour price included accommodation & subsequently cancel. However, coupons are a pain in the neck too, book your tour, invoice, login to your account, go to the other side of the site, figure out a different system, add your extra nights', another invoice, one account, two separate bills, two receipts even if pay it as one... I know I'd baulk at any unnecessary form-filling!!
I noticed when testing & experience tied to a property for accommodation purposes, need to enter minimal amount (name, address etc) again. Even that would make many wonder why, they don't know the system and think hang on, I only filled that in at the top of this page, what's going on? With all the adverts for Antivirus with ID protection these days I'll bet quite a few will believe there's some kind of identity theft going on & pull out of the booking process. It HAS to be easier for your normal Joe Bloggs who only does this kind of thing once every year at the very most. All our groups invariably handled by the one person (out of 30-50pax) who isn't scared silly by the internet?!

All the best
Miles

Milo
Only a biker knows why a dog hangs its head out the window...!

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5 days 19 hours ago #19283 by Thellie
Replied by Thellie on topic Week long experience
I have two separate websites, one for tours and one for our guesthouse, which is easier as we sell completely separately - each website recommends the other, but nothing integrated...

As such I'm not sure how much integration there is between the accommodation and experiences when they are sold on the same website, but I think that's something that will come along in due course. I'm not certain but I think Solidres is a 1-man operation, so he has limits to how much/how quickly he can do updates, feature requests - as well as coping with the Joomla 4 upgrade, etc...

Which doesn't solve your issues of course. Off the top of my head, and it depends on how much time you have and whether you want to draw back from complete automation or not... I'd maybe suggest that you build a form which lists your tours, has a calendar, and has fields for basic customer details.

Basically, an enquiry form. Take the info the customer has sent, and book them into the system yourself. It's more faffing about personally, but it does make the customer's experience less confusing.

I'd suggest using Fabrik which is a very versatile Joomla CCK, but they are unlikely to upgrade to Joomla 4, so it's something to think carefully about.

I'm about to start using the HUB feature to link between our two websites to see if I can get some more integration.
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3 days 16 hours ago #19288 by Thai-Mc-Tours
Replied by Thai-Mc-Tours on topic Week long experience
Hi Thellie,
Admittedly I started out with this a couple of years ago, with a Hub subscription - and yes it's vastly more capable. However the sheer volume of work I was going to have to attain my (admittedly very lofty!) goals soon became apparent (I'm no developer, just a guy with half an idea, built a couple of sites in the past), decided to throttle back for the time being at least. Our old site's falling apart at the seams so I'll have to pull my finger out! Lol!!
I've had a few chats with Viet and he's a great guy, have all the time in the world for him. Solidres is fantastic for booking accommodation & then an experience or two while there, perfect! I'm fully aware it's me trying to make it work the opposite way around than was designed for, tour first then book cheapest flights to suit (usually available midweek), adding a couple of extra nights accommodation to suit. Most bikers can't really afford their hobby, so we do everything possible to save every cent we can for them?
I understand your advice, that's basically how we've been doing it for the last couple of decades, how the competition have copied us, it's purely a case of staying one step ahead constantly. We'll get there!

Wishing you all the best, I'm sure you'll crack it, the support team here are fantastic, can't do enough for you, they've really gone above & beyond on many occasions for me when I've been flailing around & lost the plot, they've bailed me out far more often than I care to admit! Word of warning though, it IS a HUGE site with so much to learn - the main reason I'm doing it's because every webmaster I know's taken one look & said hell no! It'd simply take them too long to learn for a one-off, not cost effective. Templates worth their weight in gold, being able to simply edit comparable property/experiences, fantastic.

All the very best!
Miles

Milo
Only a biker knows why a dog hangs its head out the window...!
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10 minutes ago #19292 by Thellie
Replied by Thellie on topic Week long experience
I'll report back in when I've gone into it properly... :)

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