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Any help would be appreciated.
[edited by: jcoronella at 8:50 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] no specific urls please [/edit]
I've started shopping around at other hotel affiliates like lodging.com and those people want my business. They even got a booking engine ready with my site's logo and some custom programming! Their support gets back to me same day and they are a pleasure to work with.
I am not saying that IAN could not be vastly improved, but their hotels.com datbase just seems to be much bigger...
Since you're using IAN, a few questions since I must not be using all their available resources.
I downloaded their very large hotel and descriptions files. In both cases, the descriptions were very truncated and not suitable for use. They are obviously the first few words of much longer descriptions I can see on other sites. How do you get the full descriptions?
Second, I noticed that they had special downloads for Texas and Florida. these were inconsistent in that one of them included one extra column after HotelID and thus would have required special handling to use on a site. Also, the instructions note that they are pipe delimited and base their instructions on this. A look at the file shows that they are actually tab delimited and thus, again, inconsistent with the main file.
An email to support gets a response wanting to know if I'm downloading and opening the files correctly.
Are you using these files found for download in their affiliate center or are you getting them elsewhere?
I really like the idea of a 40,000 hotel database but at this point I have decided the data provided is not worth the effort.
Would appreciate any thoughts on this.
It's strange that IAN does not give the full descriptions in the downloadable database, as they strongly discourage people from grabbing static data through XML.
On the tech support issue, they used to be very good, but have been poor the past few times I asked questions.
I'd also consider using multiple provider's feeds for maximum coverage.
Then again, with their current level of support, it doesn't sound like they have anyone left to actually check for ToS violations.