Disney resorts use packages and ad campaigns to attract guests

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts applied our powerful marketing tools to boost their booking volume. After tailoring strategic packages and using display advertising and TravelAds sponsored listings, they saw a 42% increase in room nights.

  Hotel resorts

  2267 rooms

  Expedia Group partner since 2005

39% 

increase in reservations at the Dolphin Resort

42%

increase in room nights across both resorts

Challenge: Increase guest confidence — and bookings

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts reside within one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

The family-friendly properties offer restaurants, lounges, and complimentary transportation to Disney World attractions. Kids love the game room and pools. Parents enjoy the spas and advance tee times at Disney’s famous golf course.

But when the pandemic hit, park attendance dropped — and so did the resorts’ bookings.

The director of revenue management, Kushan Abayasekera, was responsible for driving bookings. He had to figure out how to adapt to this changing demand — fast! Kushan reached out to his market manager, Vicki, to see how we could help.

“The Expedia Group partnership is really important to us. Our ability to talk to our market manager as a strategic partner and then use Expedia Group 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 Resorts

The solution: Use packages and ad campaigns to boost bookings

Vicki recommended Kushan use Partner Central to set up travel packages that combined air, hotel, and park entrance tickets bundled at a discount. Guests who book packages tend to stay longer, book earlier, and cancel less, which was important to his goals.*

Kushan also set up a series of TravelAds and display ads to promote the properties across our travel websites. He tailored campaigns to the distinct clientele of the two resorts, knowing that some strategies would work better for one property over the other. The ROI on his first ad was a striking 32 to 1.

In addition to these campaigns, the resorts’ listings showcased their flexible cancellation policies and COVID-19 protocols, which helped boost traveler confidence.

All together, these strategies helped the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts to not just survive the pandemic, but to thrive. The Dolphin Resort saw a 39% increase in reservations year-over-year, and the combined properties saw a 42% increase in room nights.

Future: Working together to achieve success

Kushan is excited to welcome more guests to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as travel recovers.

To make sure he is adapting to the evolving demand, Kushan will continue to meet regularly with Vicki to discuss his business needs, market dynamics, and, of course, the tools we offer that can help him achieve his goals.

His partnership with Expedia Group and his market manager are key elements of his strategy moving forward. 

*Expedia Group, 2018

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