OnceThere enables hotels and lodging providers to complete their guest experience by curating and selling tours/activities to visitors more efficiently, both on their website and in situ.
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and Visitors Bureaus use OnceThere to easily book tours and activities for visitors in their cities, both through their website and on-location kiosks. The OnceConnect solution saves DMOs valuable time by not needing to call activity providers, thus improving traveler experience and turnaround in their city.
Get more exposure for your inventory of tours and activities by distributing them through OnceThere partners in cities around North America.
Features of OnceThereBack to top
- OnceThere operates similar to Expedia, but instead of listing only on Expedia, your items will be listed on other company's websites too, such as the Local City Tourism site.
- End-users can create multiple reservations across different Checkfront accounts in a single booking though OnceThere.
How Does it Work?Back to top
- Information from Checkfront is called via API in real-time as an end-user loads a page with OnceThere in it.
- When a booking takes place, the end-user selects their tour/activity on one of OnceThere's distribution partners (a tourism office website for example). They proceed through OnceThere's payment gateway (Stripe) and complete their booking.
- The booking details are sent to Checkfront via the API and your records/inventory are updated.
Checkfront Tip: What is an API?
API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary enabling two applications to talk to each other. Each time you use an app like Facebook, send an instant message, or check the weather on your phone, you’re using an API.
Imagine this; you’re sitting at a table in a restaurant with a menu of food to order from. The kitchen is the part of the system that will prepare your order. What's needed though, is the critical link to communicate your order to the kitchen and then deliver that order back to your table. This is where the waiter (API) comes in. The waiter is the messenger (API) that takes your order (request) and tells the kitchen (the system) what to do. The waiter then delivers the response back to you. In this case, it is the food you ordered.
Setup in CheckfrontBack to top
To start the OnceThere integration, login to your Checkfront Account Manager and navigate to Manage > Add-ons. OnceThere is located in the Channel Management section.
Hover over the OnceThere tile and click on the Setup button.
This will open the OnceThere activation window, as pictured above. Simply click the blue Install button to continue.
Please note that as of writing, the install button simply points you to the onboarding form provided by OnceThere. Clicking Install does not actually activate an add-on and so once the process is complete, it may appear that nothing has been activated as there is no check mark on the OnceThere tile that you would generally see with other add-ons. The actual integration is performed by OnceThere when they receive your API credentials which we'll look at further down the page.
Steps to Activate the OnceThere Add-on
If you're in a hurry and don't have time to read this document in depth, here's a quick rundown of the steps required to activate the OnceThere add-on:
You will now be presented with an onboarding form from OnceThere. Fill this out to begin your enrollment process if you are not already a customer.
After you've filled out the form and clicked Submit, OnceThere will reach out to you in order to complete the setup process.
If you already have an account with OnceThere, simply click on the Back button in your web browser to return to the Checkfront Booking Manager.
Connecting to OnceThereBack to top
Once you've created an account with OnceThere, you'll need to send some API credentials from your Checkfront account.
Steps to Connect to OnceThere via the API
If you're in a hurry and don't have time to read this document in depth, here's a quick rundown of the steps required to connect Checkfront to OnceThere via the API:
To locate the API credentials, navigate to Manage > Developer in your Checkfront Booking Manager. Make sure the API tab is selected, which it should be by default.
In the left sidebar, click on the button labeled + New Application.
Next, you'll need to provide a bit of information in order to create your application. Don't worry if this all sounds way too complicated. It's not. Checkfront and OnceThere do most of the work for you, but this application is required to identify your Checkfront account over all the other ones.
You'll need to give the application a name. This can be whatever you want, but it's probably best to keep it simple and name it OnceThere.
The default here is Token and this is the option you need to use.
API Terms of Service
Read through the terms of service if you so wish and then check the box labeled I have read and agree to the API terms of service.
When you're ready, click on the blue Create button to complete the process.
You will now be presented with your application's API credentials. OnceThere needs the API Endpoint, API Key, and API Secret.
Copy these credentials and email them to email@example.com.
Include the following information in your email:
- Your first and last name
- Business name
- City(s) of operation
- API Endpoint, API Key, and API Secret
- Any additional information that may be applicable to your business that you think OnceThere should know
Typically, OnceThere will be in touch within 24 hours of receiving your email.
Working with OnceThereBack to top
After receiving your API credentials (email them to firstname.lastname@example.org), OnceThere will contact you directly (typically within 24 hours) to complete the configuration process. During configuration, you will work with a OnceThere representative to decide which items you wish to market and how they will be presented over the OnceThere network.
Item Pricing & AvailabilityBack to top
Pricing and item availability are controlled through your Checkfront Booking Manager and this information will be called upon in real time via the OnceThere API when an end-user visits a OnceThere listing somewhere on the web.
PaymentsBack to top
Payments are made by the end-user through OnceThere's payment gateway (Stripe) and are generally paid out 48 hours before a booking commences. Your OnceThere representative will be able to provide further details on this as well as any additional payout options they may be able to offer.
Item AllocationsBack to top
All Checkfront item allocations are compatible with OnceThere apart from sub-hourly where a customer chooses their own time to start and end a booking.
Interval minimum is 1/2 hour.
Handling Refunds & CancellationsBack to top
If a customer wishes to cancel a booking, they must contact you directly so you can process the cancellation through your Checkfront Booking Manager.
The customer will need to contact OnceThere should they wish to request a refund. That process will be handled by OnceThere, but it won't update automatically in your Checkfront Booking Manager. To record a refund there, you must manually apply a POS refund to the invoice in question.
Waivers & DocumentsBack to top
If you are using the Waivers & Documents add-on in Checkfront, you cannot directly attach waivers to be signed during the OnceThere booking process. What you'll need to do instead is embed a document link in the OnceThere item description which the customer can click on and fill out at their leisure. The document will then need to be manually attributed to the booking by a member of your staff.
You can also configure a notification that will be sent out to the customer upon completing their booking. This notification can contain a link to the document they need to sign. Again, the signed document must be manually attributed to the booking by a member of your staff.
Booking NotificationsBack to top
When OnceThere notifies Checkfront of a booking, the process from that point on is just as it would be had the booking come from directly within the Checkfront ecosystem. If you have configured any booking notifications and reminders, these will trigger as normal at the intervals set up in the system.