Use packages to grab traveler attention and help boost bookings

Learn how Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts applied Expedia Group’s powerful marketing tools to help boost their booking volume. By tailoring strategic packages and using online travel and display ads, they saw a 42% increase in room nights.

 Combined rooms: 2267

  Chain resort hotels

  Expedia Group partner since 2005

39% 

increase in reservations*

42%

increase in room nights**

The challenge

One of the most visited vacation destinations in the world, The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Florida attracts a lot of families. But when the pandemic hit, the property faced challenges as travel slowed and Disney World attendance dropped.  

 

The hotel’s  Revenue Manager, Kushan Abayasekera, is responsible for increasing exposure and driving demand. When travel volume began to slow, he needed to figure out how to adapt to this changing market – fast!

 

Due to the reduction in bookings, it was difficult to advocate for Disney headquarters to invest funds in marketing. But with the benefit of several previously scheduled large events, Kushan had some time to figure out what to do next. 

 

After talking with Vicki, his Market Manager, Kushan began with setting up packages and display and travel ads on Expedia sites. With the high volume of traveler visits, Kushan was able to get word out about the health and safety steps the resorts were taking, which helped give guests the confidence to book.

“The Expedia partnership is really, really important to us. Our ability to talk to our Market Manager as a strategic partner and then use Expedia marketing tools to drive demand where and when we need it is key.”

Kushan Abayasekera
Director of Revenue Management
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

The solution

Vicki helped Kushan understand the potential of these strategic discounted packages, including air, hotel, and park entrance tickets, and how to set them up quickly and easily in Partner Central. They also decided to use display and travel ads to promote visibility for the park.

 

Kushan appreciated being able to tailor the tools for the distinct clientele of the Swan and Dolphin resorts, knowing that some strategies would work better for one property over the other.

 

He tested several packages while travel was slow and saw positive results. The display ads he used to garner attention for the properties were also very successful. ROI on the first display ad he ran was 32 to 1.  

 

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts leaned on their partnership with Expedia Group to not only survive the pandemic, but to thrive. With a combination of strategic discounts, packages, and targeted display and travel ads, the hotel’s  reservations were up 39% year over year. 

 

* Dolphin resort
** Both together