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MASSEY UNIVERSITY

A SWOT Analysis of
Whale Watching at Kaikoura and
appropriate strategic initiatives

Submitted by:
Sajid Khan
08530742

Submitted to:
Glenys Patterson
Coordinator 152.700
Organisation and Management
1st June, 2010.

0
SWOT Analysis of Whale Watch Kaikoura
Strengths (Internal) Weaknesses (Internal)
• The only marine-based local whale watching company. • Limited resources for growth.
• Highly trained staff capable of handling modern • Support services for health, recreation and sport are
technology like mechanical boat. remote from Kaikoura (based in Christchurch, Nelson
• Local tourist guides who have knowledge of related
and Blenheim).
history, culture and geography.
• Very far for overseas tourists. To visit Kaikoura the
• Providing opportunity to see many rare species like Fur
Seals, Dolphins, Albatross. Humpback Whales, Pilot overseas tourist are therefore required to spend
Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales and Southern reasonable time and money.
Right Whales. • Inability to provide accommodation and food to large
number of tourists due to limited number of hotels and
• Ability to provide facilities such as viewing from boat,
restaurants.
plane and helicopter at reasonable price.
• Strong partnership with Council, DOC, Ngai Tahu and • Not well recognised for other activities beside whale
Te Runanga O Kaikoura. watching.
• It is enjoying community support due to its constructive
role and good reputation.
• Establishment of good terms with tour operators and
travel agents.

Opportunities (External) Threats (External)


• Being the only company it is in better position to raise • Entrance of other experienced companies.
the prices to increase the revenue. • Refusal from DOC for further business.
• New tourism products like deep sea diving, cultural • Migration of whales to other areas.
trips, bird watching and skydiving can be started. • Whale hunting
• Training to local guides to enhance tourist satisfaction • Increase in tourist demands for facilities like round the
level. clock transportation, luxury accommodation, traditional
• Living colorful Maori culture in the area can be used to cuisines and high caliber health and hygiene facilities.
• Increase in environmental pollution is negatively
attract tourists.
affecting the life of already endangered creatures like
• Establishment of resorts, hotels, museum, zoo, theater
Dolphin and Whale.
and cinemas to provide maximum facilities for
• Increase in prices of travel fare, food and stay.
customer satisfaction.
• Community may withdraw their support because they
already believe that tourist are threat to their lifestyle.

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Strengths
The strengths are any activities the organisation does well or any uniqueness in terms
of resources that it has (Robbins, Bergeman, Stagg & Coutler, 2007). In existing case,
Whale Watch Kaikoura is a local organisation without any national or international
competitor. It is providing a unique experience to its customer by providing them with an
opportunity to watch the endangered rare species like Fur Seals, Dolphins, Albatross.
Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales and Southern Right
Whales.

It has trained its staff in modern technologies like information technology and
mechanical boats. In addition, the local guides from Ngai Tahu are hired who have
knowledge about the history, culture and marine life. Furthermore, it has also
established links with THL( The helicopter line) so watching through helicopter and
plane is made possible. Similarly permits for swimming with dolphin are also setup.

Whale Watch Kaikoura has cordial relations with related organisation and community. It
has good relations with Council, Department of Conservation (DOC), Ngai Tahu and Te
Runanga O Kaikoura. Similarly, most of its staff members are local. In addition, it has
provided a conducive environment to the local community for revenue generation by
attracting domestic and foreign tourists therefore community also support them. The
community is also taking part in activities like establishment of tracks etc. Lastly, the
company has provided tour operators and tour agents with good business therefore it
has good relations with them.

There are few things which are not the specific strengths of the organisation because
they are present in the external environment but they are playing an important role by
attracting tourists and providing them with conducive environment for enjoyments.
These are, living colorful Maori culture in the area and facilities for food and stay like
hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops etc.

Weaknesses
The weaknesses are any activities the organisation does not do well or resources it
needs but does not possess(Robbins et al, 2007). Whale Watch Kaikoura is domestic

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organisation with very limited resources. It is providing services at Kaikoura which is
situated in south of New Zealand therefore customers are required to spend huge
amount of money beside reasonable time to avail the services. It is experienced and
known for only Whale watching activities. Similarly, it is unable to accommodation and
food to large number of tourists. Lastly, it has acquired support services for health,
recreation and sport remotely from Kaikoura (based in Christchurch, Nelson and
Blenheim). These are the main weaknesses of the organization.
There are things which cannot be specifically termed as weaknesses because they are
present in the external environment but they are affecting the business in negative
manners. The tourist spend huge amount of money to get maximum possible pleasure
but in kaikoura there is little or no night life. Similarly the tourist want to be welcomed
rather than to be hated. In existing case the community believe that visitors are eroding
their life style.

Opportunities
These are the positive trends present in the external environmental factors(Robbins et
al, 2007). In case of Whale Watch Kaikoura, it is the only company providing these
unique experience to its customers so it can raise prices of its services to increase the
revenue but that can result in reduction of customers. In addition, it can launch other
related services like deep sea diving, cultural trips, bird watching and skydiving.
Similarly it can establishment of resorts, hotels, museum, zoo, theater and cinemas. All
these opportunities can be exploited to generate more revenues.

Threats
These are the negative trends present in the external environmental factors(Robbins et
al, 2007). In existing scenario there are many threats in the external environment. As it
is a profitable avenue, so big and experienced companies can also enter for
competition. Similarly illegal whale hunting or migration of whales to other areas are
also posing a serious threat to the business. Moreover there are chances that DOC may
refuse to extend / enact further agreement.
The demands of customer are increasing all over. They can demand facilities like round
the clock transportation, luxury accommodation, traditional cuisines and high caliber
health and hygiene facilities. Similarly increase in prices of travel fare, food and stay. All
above mentioned threats can adversely impact the business.

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Strategic Initiatives
Not every strategy is appropriate for every business. Therefore, SWOT analysis is
conducted to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that
strategies could be formulated, which are properly matching to the needs of the
organization and its specific market (Adams, 2005).
In reference to the context, following three strategies are proposed for corporate,
business and functional level along with justifications.
Growth Strategy
It is a corporate-level strategy that seeks to increase the level of organisation’s business
by increasing the number of products (Robbins et al, 2007). The combination of
concentration and unrelated diversification can be useful in existing case. The SWOT
analysis reveal that there are two main areas which can be utilised to increase
operations of the business to yield more revenue.
Firstly, Whale Watch Kaikoura should concentrate on its primary business and introduce
new tourism products like deep sea diving, cultural trips, bird watching and skydiving.
Secondly, resorts, hotels, museum, zoo, theater and cinema should be established.
These initiatives will enhance the customer base and ensure their maximum satisfaction
during their stay at Kaikoura. These will also allow the company to increase their profits.
Focus Strategy
This strategy advocate that one special market or customer group should be targeted to
increase the organisational business. In case of Whale Watch Kaikoura the major chunk
of customers is comprised of overseas tourists. Therefore, the focus should be
overseas visitors.
Customer service strategy
It is the functional level strategy that seeks to determine how to support the business
level strategy. In existing scenario almost 90% of the visitors are overseas tourists. Who
are spending huge amount of money and time visit kaikoura. Therefore, the company
need to concentrate on providing the maximum utility so that customer satisfaction
could be ensured. This will provide the tourists with a sense of confidence that
standards would be upheld and quality is adhered to. Consequently, it is an important
means of maintaining the demand for the products offered by Whale Watch Kaikoura.

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References:

Adams, J. (2005) Analyze Your Company Using SWOTs, Supply House Times, 48(7),
pp. 26-28.

Robbins, S. , Bergeman.R, Stagg, I. & Coulter.M (2007). Management 5. Upper Saddle


River, N.J., Pearson.

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