The Preferred Booking Link, also known as the "PH&R Redirect", utility accepts all booking parameters (arrival dates, number of nights, rate code, etc) and passes them to the PH&R-sponsored SynXis booking engine.
What is the PHR Redirect?
The PHR Redirect is an application that allows the Hotel Booking Engine team to make updates and create new customizations for properties that use the SynXis IBE quickly without any need for development on a member hotel’s side.
How does a Redirect work?
In general, a redirect works by presenting the user with one URL that ultimately takes them to a different URL. For example, you might want to direct a consumer to a link with tracking parameters in place for your analytics:
While that link has the correct end-result that suits your needs, it is not consumer-friendly. So instead of distributing that link, you might create a more user-friendly URL that your guests can remember:
This link, if set up properly, can then serve as a redirect to the full URL above.
The PHR Redirect behaves similarly. In your website’s booking widgets and on your accommodations or offers pages, you would implement the PHR Redirect per the documentation. When clicked, the user will first jump to the Redirect* and then to the Guest Connect booking engine.
The Redirect will take all the parameters you are passing to it and translate them to SynXis-approved parameters.
*For most consumers, this initial jump is <1 second and will not be noticed. Our documentation also addressed any potential concerns you may have with cross-domain tracking. If you have any questions about Redirect or analytics implementation, please contact GuestConnect@PreferredHotels.com
What is the value of the Redirect?
In addition to the ease of implementing customizations, using the Redirect allows Guest Connect to roll out new IBE functionality for all hotels at a global level with minimal updates.
Using the Redirect creates an easy-to-use standard for IBE implementation on hotel websites that ultimately reduce the levels of effort for implementing new customizations and modifying existing ones.
The Redirect also ensures that IBE parameters are passed correctly to SynXis. This is important because certain parameters (such as the chain and template IDs) are what Preferred uses to bill hotels correctly for reservations. The Redirect helps prevent hotels from being billed incorrectly and makes production reports more accurate.
What could happen without using the Redirect?
If a webmaster does not implement the Redirect (either properly or at all), you run the risk of being billed incorrectly for hotel reservations made on your site.
Many hotel webmasters or web agencies will opt to link directly to the booking engine and drop certain requirements because they are used to working directly with SynXis in a single-hotel environment. A hotel might think that a way around this would be to set the shells and templates in the SynXis Control Center as “default” but this method also has adverse consequences for both the property and Preferred (at a chain level). If this occurs, the Guest Connect team will remove these default settings and the hotel's website will then display the Preferred IBE. Adoption of the Redirect will correct this.
Implementation on a Hotel Website
Whatever language a booking widget or quick reservations form is written in, it will need to post selected criteria to https://www.phgsecure.com/IBE/bookingRedirect.ashx using the parameters in the table detailed below:
|Name||PHG Redirect Parameter|
PHG Property Code – see RAM for details
|Departure Date (optional)||departureDate
|Number of Nights||numberOfNights|
|Number of Adults||numberOfAdults
defaults to 1 if nothing passed
|Number of Children
defaults to 0 if nothing passed
defaults to 1
(see style section)
(optional, default is English)
for locale values, please see Locale Values table following this one
(optional, default is USD)
|iPrefer Parameters (optional)|
The locale parameter is constructed following the “locale=fi” format. For example, the Japanese language can be called in the Redirect using either “ja”, “ja-JP”, or “JP” as the locale parameter value. There is a second, optional language parameter built into SynXis called “lang” but it is not supported within the Redirect as locale will always override the lang setting.
|Bahasa Indonesian||id, id-ID|
|Bahasa Malaysian||ms, ms-MY, MY|
|Chinese Simplified||CN, zh, zh-CN|
|Chinese Traditional||TW, zh-TW|
||cs, cs-CZ, CZ|
||da, da-DK, DK|
|English – GB
|English – US||en, en-US, US|
|Estonian||EE, et, et-EE|
|French – France
|German – Germany||de, de-DE|
|Greek||el, el-GR, GR|
|Japanese||ja, ja-JP, JP|
|Korean||ko, ko-KR, KR|
|Norwegian||nn, nn-NO, NO|
|Portuguese – Portugal||pt, pt-PT|
|Spanish – Mexico||es-MX, MX|
|Spanish – Spain||es, es-ES|
|Swedish||SE, sv, sv-SE|
|Vietnamese||vi, vi-VN, VN|
The following parameters can also be passed via the Redirect into Booking Engine but because they are not translated or handled in any way in the code of the Redirect, their values will be ignored by the application and sent unchanged to the booking engine.
|group||Group block code
SynXis location: Setup > Groups > Group Configuration
|rate||Unique SynXis RateType ID. When a valid rate ID is passed, the booking engine will display only the specific associated rate type.
SynXis location: Setup > Rates > Rate Configuration
|room||Unique SynXis Room Type ID. When a valid ID is passed, the booking engine will display only the specific associated room type.
SynXis location: Setup > Rooms > Room Types
Special Offers/Text Links
If a hotel has a special offers page on its website that links to a package or special rate list anywhere else, that link must target the PH&R Redirect using the criteria above, if applicable. The hotel must pass any rate code associated with the package and, if applicable, any date ranges/number of nights required to book the package.
Below are sample URLs using our sample hotel, Hotel Preferred (property code BCTS4) and various configurations of the parameters:
Basic Hotel URL (e.g. “Book Now” link/button)
In the PH&R Redirect database, the hotel’s property code is tied to the appropriate information necessary to determine the shell and template of a custom Guest Connect. What this means is that a hotel is not required to pass a shell or template ID in the query string to the IBE. In the URL example above, only Hotel Preferred’s property code is being passed to the redirect.
*Note: If a hotel is using two separate looks/shells on their site (for example, one for regular guests/visitors to their site and one for a corporation), the default style can be overwritten using the “style” parameter with the value of the shell’s ID provided to you by the Guest Connect team following its build. The hotel’s booking engine profile then needs to be updated on PH&R’s side to include this new style in order for this to work properly.
Related to this, if there is a guest newsletter or email being distributed (or scheduled for distribution), the hotel will be required to distribute all booking links on this medium also in the same manner as detailed above.
Please be sure that when passing parameters to the redirect, you are adhering to the following guidelines:
Responsive booking engines only will use a specialized parameter for the redirect.
A responsive booking engine will be created for all new hotel websites, even for hotels that use a fixed design
If a site passes any of the above incorrectly, the PH&R Redirect will display a non-branded error page prompting the user to return to their previous page and re-submit their information.