Bookacamp for Wordpress 2021/08/25


Many travel companies use the Wordpress software to maintain the content of the website without having to learn a lot of technical know-how. Since Wordpress can be expanded by many functions through plugins, Bookacamp is now offering its own plugin directly in the Wordpress plugin directory. The aim is to make the integration of the booking forms and the overviews of bookable trips as simple as possible and to completely hide the technical background.

The plug-in is installed directly from the plug-in directory and, after activation, shows a menu item to make all settings. Then a Bookacamp element is inserted directly in the editor of the page. The element lists the possible layouts and also offers two combinable filters for the search results. For example, you can only display all trips in which you can surf. Immediately after the selection, the preview is displayed and the integration is completed by clicking on Save and Publish.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Updates until August 2021/08/23


Because of the summer holidays in August, this month is often marked by many small individualizations in exports and Bookacamp reacts very quickly to inquiries, especially if they make sure the camps run smoothly. Still, there is a small list of interesting features that are now ready to use.

Reserviations

Since last year it has already been possible to take reservations and thus block capacity at short notice. This is useful when, for example, parents ask about it because their application for leave at work has not yet been approved. Since the beginning of the month, these reservations can be converted into a booking in self-service, so that customers only receive a link by email and can do everything there. This eliminates the need to type in data from e-mails in the office.

Feedback per Agency

With Bookacamp's feedback addon, customers can be asked about their experience with the registration process as well as their evaluation for the camp. The rating is divided into aspects specific to youth travel, such as supervision, catering and the program, whereby the selection of ratings can be determined in the addon's settings. In addition to the aggregated evaluation of the feedback per appointment and camp, an evaluation per agency is now also possible. This overview enables travel agents to analyze the quality of the trips in discussions with the tour operators and to improve them if necessary.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Bankexport for credit transfer for overpayment 2021/08/09


The summer season is drawing to a close. Typically this is the time to get ready for the end of the season to provide an overview of the bookings for which payments are still unpaid or which bookings need a repayment. Refunds occur when a tour operator reduced the travel price, the customer has accidentally paid too much or a trip that has already been paid for has been canceled.

Finding all bookings with overpayment has been very easy in Bookacamp for years, as there is a separate menu item for this. With today's release, the entire repayment process has been further simplified so that overpaid bookings can be transferred to the bank with a SEPA export. A collective file is created that contains all repayment instructions for open bookings. Commercial banks can read this file and use it to make a repayment. This feature ends the manual copying of bank data in bank transfer forms.

Customers who have not yet stored any bank details are asked by email with just one click to store their bank details in the system. The bank details are field-encrypted and stored in Bookacamp. This new feature is enabled for all Bookacamp users and can be activated in your own settings.

Author: Mathias Methner

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78 minutes until travel exclusion 2021/07/20
A report about release frequency and the new travel exclusion feature


Fortunately, it did not take 78 minutes before a participant had to be excluded from a camp, but only 78 minutes before Bookacamp was able to deliver a requested feature.

Why is that special?
Many services on the Internet have delivery times of days to weeks, depending on the development and release process in the company. Bookacamp knows that fast delivery times for bug fixes or urgent features can make life easier for tour operators, especially in the current high season. The software and system landscape behind Bookacamp is able to roll out every change to the source code to the production environment in 30 seconds.

This technological foundation has ensured, that this week an urgently needed excel export for corona situations could be adapted during an 88-second phone call. From Bookacamp's point of view, such short-term, individual changes to specific needs of the tour operator are not a necessary evil, but rather give us pleasure, because they make the life of the users immediately easier.

But what is travel exclusion about?
Fortunately, it rarely happens, but there are participants, who have to be excluded from a camp due to their personal socio-educational situation. Tour operators usually do everything in their power to prepare their participants for a nice trip - if the educational concept and team size are still exhausted, participants my be excluded. Nobody likes to do this, but it is sometimes necessary for the camp to run smoothly. Another reason is outstanding payments or aggressive communication that excludes a specific customer from being a contractual partner. In order to meet this group of customers, tour operators now have the option of marking a booking for future travel exclusion. That doesn't automatically mean, that these bookings will be blocked - people keep evolving. It means that these registrations will go into a queue and will be checked before confirmation by the tour operator.

Find an overview of releases per day of the last couple of weeks. It has been 92 releases on july so far.

screenshot releases per days

Author: Mathias Methner

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Updates until July 2021/07/09


The summer vacation has started and some of the participants are already back from the camp - sure with a lots of experiences after this long corona break. To find out more about the real life usage of the various functionalities of Bookacamp, we recently visited a camp on site and reviewed the checkin with a QR code scanner. Some of the adaptations below are a direct response to what we learned there.


Demographics

Parents often get in touch to find out about the age structure of the participants in the camp. In addition to the overviews of the number of boys / girls who have already registered, Bookacamp shows the age structure in the backoffice.

Readonly access

Read access for supervisors is used a lot during the season and answers questions about participants directly in the camp, e.g. if the doctor needs emergency contact details. Read access has recently received a few optimizations that make it easier to navigate on small cell phone displays. In addition, a profile page of the participant can be called up directly in read access.

Transfer information

If parents provide individual travel information, for example because they appear earlier at the check-in, this can now be stored directly in booking and the information appears in the exports and read access. Camp leaders immediately have all the information about arrival and departure ready.

Diary

There are often incidents during the camp that the office should know about in case parents call. If noteworthy events are stored as a supervision note, there is now a diary with which you can get an overview in the morning at the beginning of the working day. With this information you will no longer be surprised by a phone call.

External access data - e.g. language test

If you want to store access data for each booking for an external tool, in order to then send them collectively to all bookings of an event, you can now find this in the booking processing view. One area of usage are language tests before the camp starts. This saves the tedious and error-prone creation of individual emails.

Payment provider Saferpay

In addition to Girosolution, Klarna Sofort, Adyen and direct debit by Bookacamp, there is an immediately available integration to the payment service provider Saferpay. Saferpay has all common payment methods in its range.

Synchronization of the booking status between travel agent and tour operator

If the travel agent and tour operator are both part of the Bookacamp network, the status of a forwarded booking can now be synchronized. This eliminates the annoying request for the booking confirmation for the agent.

Classification of supervisors

In order to structure the classification of the suitability of a supervisor, you can now find some input fields in the profile to note information about the subjective impression and suitability as a supervising person.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Updates until June 2021/06/03


Roundtrip for arrival and departure

Bookacamp now supports the booking of a round trip, which means that the booked transfer combines the arrival and departure with a total price. This completes the offer for different models of transport and you can decide for yourself how individually the arrival and departure options should be booked.

Automation

With the feedback add-on, customers have the opportunity to submit their feedback for a camp. The invitation can be sent automatically in the background. Bookacamp then automatically sends the feedback invitation and informs you about the invitations sent in the internal message system.

The summer holidays will soon begin and it will be time to remind your customers of the possible outstanding balance. Bookacamp is also able to automatically send reminders for this.

Collection process - reminder 1 + 2

There are new templates and processes to take the dunning process to a more official level. As always, the contents of the reminder e-mails can be customized. A booking is moved to the dunning process when you click on the booking detail page under Payment > Paymend reminder 1/2.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Bookacamp integrates Adyen as a payment service provider 2021/05/11


Many Bookacamp users rely on payment service providers to make online payments as easy as possible for their customers. Bookacamp has added the European provider Adyen with its Pay by Link product to the list of connected services. Thus, all users of Bookacamp benefit automatically and free of charge from the new service provider. Adyen covers a huge list of payment systems. SEPA direct debit, Paypal, GiroPay, Visa, Mastercard and iDEAL in the Netherlands are very popular in German-speaking countries.

The integration with Adyen is done with your own settings. All you need is your own Adyen account.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Backup strategies 2021/03/22


In mid-March, Europe's largest data center near the river Rhine burned down. Various media reports, that the data of many server and website operators have been irrevocably lost, because backups were missing or in in the same data center. This rises the question, of how Bookacamp can deal with the valuable data of its users?

Data - in the case of Bookacamp, these are databases and files (photos and documents) of both the users of Bookacamp as well as Bookacamp itself. The most important data is in the databases, which are backed up every 10 minutes. Backup means a full copy of the databases is created and written to a file. These backup files are immediately fully encrypted via GPG (Wikipedia) and after that they are - not readably by third parties - copied to a cloud service. This procedure alone is sufficient to guarantee almost 100% data backup. Another protection mechanism is, that with every backup on the data is copied to a failover system at another data center operator. The same procedure is used for files, here the backup takes place twice a day.

Another mainstay of the backup strategy is protection against ransomware (Wikipedia). Often times, the character of this malware is, that all data, backups included, is encrypted by this malware and you must buy the key for decryption . The only effective protection against this is to keep your own backups unreachable for the malware. For this reason, Bookacamp performs Offsite Backups once a quarter

Last but not least, backups are of no use if they are not regularly tested and imported into test systems to check the recovery processes. Bookacamp has automated this process so that every transfer to the failover system tests the recovery process. In addition, completely empty operating systems are started every morning, necessary packages are installed and the current backup data is imported - this ensures that Bookacamp is up and running on the new server in a short period of time.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Customers book HanseMerkur travel insurance directly in Bookacamp 2021/03/04


Bookacamp celebrates the first insurance policy on March 2nd

logo HanseMerkur

After Bookacamp published the payment by direct debit in february, a month later the next big highlight follows: From now on, Bookacamp's users can offer their customers the booking of a travel insurance with HanseMerkur directly during the booking process. Bookacamp is proud to work in partnership with the HanseMerkur. The selection of insurance products is part of the negotiotion between the tour operator and HanseMerkur and they are adapted to the needs of the tour operator. The insurance products protect parents from cancellation costs, as well person and property damage.

How does it work?

After the tour operator has found the perfect products in communication with the HanseMerkur, only the agency number of the tour operator must be stored in Bookacamp. Then the tour operator decides at the push of a button whether the billing happens via direct accounting (billing directly between customer and insurer) or agency accounting (billing between tour operator and customer). Bookacamp individually determines the insurance offers for each booking during the booking process and stores them until the booking is confirmed by the tour operator. The insurance is automatically reconfirmed, so that there is only little effort for the tour operator and customer.

The integration with the HanseMerkur is now available for every tour operator and agent from Bookacamp.
If you want to learn more about the integrations of Bookacamp, please register a free demo account.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Bookacamp & Berlitz Germany integrate their systems 2021/01/25


Bookacamp serves many tour operators, tour agents and event organizers as a daily tool for organizing your work and is always looking for ways to improve standard workflows. A widespread time waster arise at the interfaces to third-party systems, for example during transmission of bookings between a travel agent and the tour operator. Where in the past bookings were sent by fax, it is now possible to establish seamless integration between different providers.

System integration is now available between Berlitz Germany and Bookacamp, so that bookings can be transferred from Bookacamp to Berlitz at the push of a button and the annoying forwarding of booking data via email can be omitted. This procedure is not only more time-saving than before, but is much less susceptible to errors than copying from emails.

It works that simple:

The interface is immediately available to all Bookacamp users free of charge.

If you want to learn more about Bookacamp's interfaces, please register a free demo account.

Author: Mathias Methner

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Shopping with Bookacamp 2021/01/18


What does Bookacamp have to do with shopping?
Not much, actually. The special thing about today's story is the integration of Bookacamp on the Website from hockeyshop.de and sportshop.com through our partner Sportscampus. Sportscampus has been organizing sports camps for young people for over 20 years. Started with hockey, meanwhile Sportscampus offers golf and tennis camps, even international ones.

Bookacamp offers extensive opportunities for collaboration with external agencies. This includes the access to the agency portal, which each user can set up him/herself. In addition, there is the possibility of assigning bookings via agency links to the agency and thus builds an affiliate and partner program.

At the beginning of the year, Sportscampus is offering an early bird discount for a short time. It is worth registering now.

screenshot hockeyshop

Author: Mathias Methner

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Bookacamp Redesign

1303 updates files later 2021/01/08


Bookacamp's birthday was in January 2015 - 6 years ago - and we are proud to have processed tens of thousands bookings for tour operators, travel agents and organizers of online and offline events. One of the success factors of Bookacamp is the constant continuous improvement of every component. We are particularly grateful for the many ideas, tips and messages that we have received from already 147 users and would like to say a big thank you for it.

A lot has happened in the 6 years. Addons and features were added and now it was time to update the entire user interface of Bookacamp. 1303 changed files, 45,213 changed and 134,964 deleted lines of source code. What an amazing number.

The new interface is more modern, looks smoother and uses the latest browser features to give both, the users of the Bookacamp Backoffice, but also the many thousands of parents, children and event participants, a special experience when booking camps and registering for events. In particular, the increasing number of users with mobile devices benefit from larger fonts and controls and better loading times.

Feel free to register your demo account and see our new user interafe in action.

bookacamp logo

Author: Mathias Methner

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Updates in December 2020/12/05


✨ Our Updates

😎 Counselor Addon

⭐ Feedback-Addon

Author: Mathias Methner

YAGNI & KISS 2020/11/12


Bookacamp is a software product for the (youth) travel industry and combines excellent knowledge of software development with professional knowledge of the requirements and processes of the travel industry. But there is always the question of which features and functionalities are required in which form in order to make the communication and administration of bookings / events as easy and quick as possible. Since Bookacamp was founded in 2015, we have been working very closely with product owners and pilot customers. That's nothing special - that's how agile software development works. The special thing is that the product owners are users and partners of Bookacamp themselves, i.e. the tour operators and travel agents whose requirements arise from day-to-day business. Bookacamp is very happy to receive this open input.

In order to keep an overview of all requirements, we use a ticket system. In the last 5 years, 1811 tickets have been created in this way, 94 of which are currently open in different sizes. Bookacamp uses two principles to decide which problem a ticket is going to be developed and for what there may be a different solution.

YAGNI - You Arent't Gonna Need It

Every feature and every problem solution has different characteristics and there are often dozens of ways to expand a feature. The tightrope act is to decide which functionalities will be used later and whether there is someone who needs a solution. Unless a requester exists, we often decide not to implement something at the current time and wait to see how usage develops.

KISS - Keep It Simple & Stupid

Some things are easier to do than others - but the general rule is that a simple and understandable solution is preferable to a complex and complicated one. This applies to decisions in software development as well as in the structure of user interfaces and processes.

Author: Mathias Methner

Updates in October 2020/10/20


✨ Our Updates

😎 Counselor Addon

Author: Mathias Methner

Updates in July 2020/08/08


June usually is a bit quieter, so major changes to processes and new features do not disturb the ongoing season. A few minor things are still worth mentioning:

Hostel Summary / Accommodation Information 2020/07/08


At the latest shortly before the trip, it is necessary to inform the hostel about the number of people arriving, times, information for the kitchen and bookable extras such as meeting rooms and disco. There are so-called hostel messages, with the help of which you can send all the information to a hostel at the push of a button. A particular strength of this notification is noticeable when the assignments of the counselors to the camps have been made in the system, because then all information is bundled together.

This feature is immediately activated for all users and can be accessed via the administration of the sessions. Is there a lack of easy mailings in your current system? You can start a non-binding demo directly on this page.

Author: Mathias Methner

Updates of June 2020/06/05


43 tickets have been closed and implemented since March. A selection of the most important innovations follows here: