Sport England and the Open Data Institute have teamed up to increase participation in sport by making it easy to find and book physical activities online.
As part of this process, they have developed the Open Booking API: a common technical standard that defines a single API interface for managing transactions between a booking system and front-end brokers.
The Open Booking API removes the need to laboriously write code each time an activity provider wishes to share data with a different system or data user. In essence, it removes connectivity barriers by allowing any broker or booking vendor that implements it to share information seamlessly.
What data will be shared and why?
It is proposed that activity providers share up-to-date information on activity times, prices, availability, locations, and descriptions.
In sharing this data with front-end brokers, activity providers gain exposure to millions of potential participants through different websites, apps, and communities — helping them reach more customers, grow their attendance, and help more people get active.
It is hoped that once refined — the Open Booking API will provide users with the tools they need to deliver a seamless, end-to-end journey that makes it easy for users to find, research, and book a physical activity online.
Following a positive first round of testing, Sport England and the Open Data Institute have enlisted bookinglab and three other vendors to help them better understand the economic impact of implementing the Open Booking API — and the technical infrastructure required to support it.
In this next round of testing, the four vendors will implement the Open Booking API on their booking systems and report back on the costs, benefits, and technical barriers encountered during this process.
Sport England and the Open Data Institute hope that this testing will unlock over 1.8 million bookable opportunities per month.
Chad Duggan, Founder and CEO of bookinglab, gives his thoughts on the project: “A subdivision of our business specialises in transport bookings, so we have seen first-hand the impact that open data can have. In minutes, users can discover and book thousands of different travel options — offering choice and convenience to users and a wealth of opportunity to providers. We are excited to work with Sport England and the Open Data Institute to help replicate this level of openness and make it more convenient to book a physical activity online.”
bookinglab make the transition to digital quick and easy — delivering scalable, easy-to-use booking solutions that reduce operational costs, increase efficiency, and improve the user experience. Driven by their mission of using booking technology to deliver meaningful change, they develop solutions for appointments, events, green travel, and mobile workforce bookings. If you would like to learn more, click here.