Werribee Park: Marketing Strategy

Introduction

Tourism sector is a sector that has reported immense growth in the global market mainly because of the increasing competition from European countries. The growth of the sector goes hand in hand with the growth of other industrial sectors related to it like the tour and travel industry, hotel industry and an avenue for cross-cultural interaction. The case of Werribee Park is a significant tourist’s destination due to its diverse attractions: the Werribee Park Mansion, sculptures, and Werribee Zoo among other scenes. In order to get an insight of how the tourism industry work, we are going to analyze the case of Werribee Park in relation to what the target market is and the organizational structure of Werribee Park. In general, this paper seeks to find out what marketing strategies should be used to make tourism industry a success. This is in line with Hitz, Murphy and Sigala (2006), ideals that obtaining latest information about the tourism industry plays a vital role in ensuring that firms remain relevant to the new trends of the industry.

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Background Information

Werribee Park presents one of the greatest spectacles that combines culture and history to bring an amazing experience to whoever visits the park. Werribee Park is a renovated magnificent mansion that surprises visitors whenever they visit because of the maintenance care it is given. Helen Lempriere Sculpture Awards which is the biggest sculpture event in Australia is held in the park. Each year, the participants of the event are always exhibited in unique way given the ambiance created each year. The park is always artistically modified annually to ensure it remains unique and attractive. Visitors come during the events and take part in discussion of various artistic works in contention of the awards. The Werribee Park has outlined maps that detail the background of all sculptures and it is open to viewers all year round.

The environment of the park is surrounded by ornamental lake, a farm, and grotto. Beautiful pictures on workers in the mansion are displayed at the laundry and kitchen section. The Chirnside family, who were the main owners, sold the property to a Catholic seminary half a century ago. The administration of Victoria acquired the asset in 1973 and overhauled the site for conservation purposes. The interior section of the mansion is covered with historic monuments and preservation of the building. After contention of the above mentioned awards, the winning sculpture and other striking art works are sampled and added to the park at the Werribee Park Sculpture Walk. The outside of the mansion is covered by Werribee Park Zoo. Werribee Park is Open Range park that is home to a number of grassland animals originating from Asia, Africa, and Australia.

The park is amazing due to its unique view of wild animals living in their natural habitat without interference. The park has become bigger and bigger from just a Melbourne zoo to an internationally rated park with breathtaking experience for its visitors. The park is located in a serene environment along Werribee River which stands on a 200 hectare land. A walk in the park can take a tourist about 50 minutes to capture the views of a number of game animals like rhino, zebras, giraffes, Serval cats, cheetahs, and local Australian animals like pelican and emu. The zoo also has built African villages and African cultural adventures that really attract tourists. A part from the mentioned attractions that the Werribee Park boosts of, there are state of the art hotel and other hospitality facilities that serve visiting tourists like the 5-star Sofitel Hotel.

Tourism Industry Analysis

The tourism sector is one of the rapidly growing sectors in the world aided by both the social and economic phenomena. Tourism refers to movement of individuals from one location to the other temporarily for leisure reasons. This movement could be within a locality or cross border movement. The aspect of movement makes this industry an inclusive one that involves other business organization; for instance, travelling and accommodation facilities. In summary, tourism is a sector in an economy that involves movement of people, interaction of people of a diverse culture and all goods and services that respond to an individual’s need during this period.

Tourism can be classified into four main categories. The first is international tourism that involves foreign citizens touring another country. Internal tourism is when citizens of a country tour their own country for leisure while domestic tourism refers to local visitation coupled with the marketing of attraction centers and accommodation facilities. Lastly, national tourism refers to internal visitation in addition to marketing of air travel facilities and airlines. The tourism industry has been growing to become a global phenomenon. “WTO statistics for 2002 estimated international tourist receipts of US$ 463 billion, a total of 693 million tourist arrivals across the globe and forecast over one billion arrivals by 2010,” (Coastlearn).

Werribee Park as a tourist destination faces competition from outside and within Australia. The greatest competitor comes from Europe given that most tourists prefer coastal tourism which lacks in Werribee Park. Coastal tourism attraction is irresistible given the land and sea border environment, sandy beaches, and biodiversity emanating from the presence of sea fish, birds, whales and corals among other sea creations. The competition from tourism in Europe has been further stiffened by affordable prices charged by tourism stakeholders that continue to further attract tourist to the region other than at Werribee Park. The coastal tourism in Europe is getting competitive day by day with tourists expecting high quality services at relatively cheaper prices. This must be done in a way that a balance is drawn between offensive and defensive elements. “Offensive strategy involve is involved with guest acquisition and therefore focuses on external promotional tools such as sales, advertising, publicity and public relations.” Defensive elements entail operational activities geared at customer retention, (Williams and Uysal, 2004)

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Tourism sector is a service industry that comprises various tangible and intangible components. The tangible components evident at Werribee Park include: transportation services, site seeing (Werribee Mansion sculptures, game watch), accommodation, and sale of souvenirs. In the other end intangible components include: African villages and African cultural adventures, education as evident from the setting up of institutions at the park, relaxation facilities offered by the 5-star Sofitel Hotel, and adventure in the Werribee Zoo that boosts of a number of animals some of which are found only in Australia.

Target Market and Market Segmentation

In the tourism industry, marketing, play an important role; in identifying target markets as the way of making crucial operation decisions like market strategies to use, price determination, and all these constitute the success of running business activities. A target market is categorization of customers in relation to the products they consume. A tourist industrial marketer is faced with the obligation of understanding the type of tourists that visit a site; in this case, Werribee Park. Categorization can then be drawn in relation to what the customer needs are. There are three main categories under which a customer may be segmented/ categorized: problem solving services, satisfying basic needs, and designing products to make tourists feel good. Tourism products from Werribee Park vary from the sculptures, to game animals watching, and services provided by hotel facilities and all these are fall in the three categories. This shows that the tourism industry market target is varied. In the park, employees ensure that visitors get the most out of the vacation in Werribee Park. Guaranteed satisfaction is the basic need of a tourist; therefore, a host must ensure tourists feel good during their stay at a given destination.

Target market is determined via a process called market segmentation. It is important for a marketer to know whether their products are international or national products. Since tourism attracts both local and international tourists, the products are both national and international. There should be a clear distinction between who the primary and secondary consumers are. The case of Werribee Park targets international clients as their primary customers as they constitute majority of visitors. In segmenting a market, an organization has to analyze demographic trend of a population and immigration so as to categorize them in segments for instance, according to: nationality, race, gender, age, income levels, and ethnicity among other parameters. Market segmentation can also determine psychographics factors like beliefs, lifestyle, opinion, and attitude. All these attributes are different and they create a varied target market.

If a marketer takes a population of 60,000 people for instance, segmentation can be done by analyzing such parameters as nationality, age group, gender, and race. In addition, staffs at Werribee Park would be interested in knowing how they relate with other business organizations in what is referred to as B2B relationship. This industrial segmentation can be analyzed by monitoring the turnover, premises location, financial position of other firms at different instances, and the number of employed staffs. Also, there is need of looking at how purchases are made in regard to seasons and how managerial decisions are made. B2B analysis is crucial because other industrial players determine cash flow in a given segment and through such an analysis, an organization can know when to increase or decrease complimentary services. Other reasons may be: to decrease costs, increase profit margins, and to maintain the current financial position. The success of market segmentation can be verified if the above mentioned issues are identified and management is yet to implement their use; hence, a successful target market in the corporate context.

The reason for carrying out target market is for the marketers to gauge who potential tourists are in a bid to realign business activities towards what is attracting that potential tourist, (Thompson and Martin, 2005). After the given analyses, management can use the gathered information to describe a tourist; for instance, a target market being an African-American female citizen from USA, visiting Australia for the first time and in his late 40s. This description could constitute 5% of the population under segmentation (60,000). The marketers at Werribee Park will know after the segmentation which group constitute a majority or minority of their client base and this may be essential in marketing their services in nations that constitute a small percentage of the overall number of tourists.

Organizational Structure of Werribee Park as a Tourist Destination

Like already mentioned, the Werribee Park consists of different components of the Australian economy; for instance, hotel and accommodation, administrative legislations, and the transport and communication sectors. The tourism industry include all the business organizations involved in the ensuring tourists travel and reach their destinations safely and they are, the air travel agents, commuter bus services, tour guides, and car renting services. Other components are the human labor employed in tourist destination centers like Werribee Park, and governmental agencies.

At international levels, tourism sector is run by the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) which is the biggest body at the global level. Its main obligation is to formulate policies that guide international tourism and the overall marketing of international tourism destinations. World Tourism Organization is responsible for making decisive actions that are bound to make the industry a sustainable one in the future for the development of the international economy, promote peace, and observe the fundamental human rights at the global level. Apart from the UNWTO, there are a number of other organizations that have special connection with the tourism industry; for example, International Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) which coordinates travels by sea and International Civil Aviation Organization also known as ICAO whose main concern is the coordination of air travels.

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At national level, the tourism sector entails the duties played by the public authorities who are responsible for the welfare of both local and international tourists. The services provide by government authorities involve provision of security, healthcare, protection of the national resources among other government roles. The aims of such interventions are to ensure maximum benefits accrue the economy and to avoid the negative aspects as much as possible. In Victoria, Tourism Alliance Victoria is responsible for monitoring policies and legislations pertaining to tourism activities. The body is also concerned with making the industry a dynamic one in Victoria. It is entrusted with the interpretation of local legislations involved with the running of tourism in this area. The organization is a nationally inclusive body with a national appeal and this gives the industry a diverse members’ base drawn from all corners of the country. Lastly, the body gives financial support to Business Event Victoria which rewards its members with special benefits.

National Tourism Organization (NTO) are responsible for a number of functions that include: Research and Development (R&D), concerned with provision of up to date information and promotional activities of the tourism sector, developing diplomatic ties with other international countries, offer fiscal support for other industries at times of financial burdens like the recent financial crisis, and the overall establishment of tourism policies. The tourism sector has both direct and indirect impacts in the economy. Sales and ancillary services besides the ones mentioned above (accommodation, attractions, transport, and activities) are some of the direct services in the tourism sector. In the other end, indirect elements of tourism industry are those goods and services responsible for supporting the tourism industry and without them the tourism industry would perform with significant difficulties. These are: infrastructural development, electricity, water and sewerage services, property development, and airport renovation among other indirect services.

The Werribee Park organizes major events that act as tourism promotional strategies. The annual sculpture design competition is one of the events organized at the park. In addition to that, there is the taste of Victoria festival that was run back in the 2001. The promotional event saw the visitor’s number in Werribee increase to approximately four folds. The event was a festival for food and wine and it is one of the main events to have been organized by the Victoria publicists. This promotional event does not take place anymore amid its success back then. It will be in order if the authority at the Victoria Mansion brings back the event to attract tourist at the park given the competition that comes from European coastal tourism.

SWOT Analysis for Werribee Park

SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis is an effective tool to use as a strategy in running the tourism industry both at the local and international level. Tourism marketers use SWOT analysis ideals in comparing and contrasting industrial strengths and weaknesses against the outside industrial opportunities and threats. As a result, the managers are able to review the internal and external business environment with the aim of establishing obligatory roles of a firm in regard to a company’s mission. SWOT analysis is an important aspect of restoring the glory of an underperforming tourism industry entity back to economic strengths. An organization’s strength is the core to maintaining competitiveness given that it competencies are what consumers value. Competitiveness also makes products fabrication by other firms difficult, Belk and Sherry assert that value is created by both the producer and consumer according to co-production literature, (Belk and Sherry, 2007).

Leverage is a condition resulting from marching the internal strength against external opportunities. Planning managers expect operational constraints when internal weaknesses prevail as it is likely to limit a company’s enjoyed advantages and opportunities. Internal weaknesses are a threat to organizational strengths as they create environmental vulnerability for a firm. In the tourism industry, security is a major threat as where there is security lapse, international administrations always impose travel bans restricting their citizens from travelling to insecure destinations. This can impact negatively to the tourism sector; more so, if it is a major foreign exchange earner. Another serious threat to the tourism industry that also affected the industry at Werribee Park was the financial crisis that hit the global economy. According to Grigora & Salikhov (2009), in the year 2008, the world woke up to shocking news of financial crisis that hit all major economic power houses following down turn of the US economy. The effects of the financial turmoil affected both citizen and companies (locally and internationally). Financial burden overwhelmed visitors and this means they had to cut leisure activities of which tourism forms a fundamental part.

The possible strengths for a performing business include: skilled staffs, good financial health, company name and logo that is recognized internationally, latest equipment installation, lack of competition, own premises, among others. Existence of a skilled staff cuts the cost of training hence reducing annual rate of overhead. A sound financial health implies few debts and increased accessibility to financial services like loans. According to Mooij (2004), infrastructural development is an indicator of mass consumption and this depicts availability of markets in the international sphere. The development of the infrastructural system in Victoria, Australia is a main strength of the tourism industry in the country, especially at Werribee Park. Another strength of the Werribee Park tourism sector is the unique Australian animals mentioned above that can only be found in the park. The unique view of these animals cannot be duplicated by other competitors and this makes it a major strength for the sector.

All these strengths and other cost reduction measures act as a pull for resources that can be used to adjust to a potential market need; for instance, price reduction which necessarily won’t affect normal running of the business. This explains the source of a sustained competitive advantage of the Werribee Tourism Industry. On the other hand, it is crucial to know the tourism industry’s weaknesses in a bid to minimize them in future life of the sector’s performance. Therefore it is practical to argue that most international companies can undertake SWOT measures to adjust to environment needs of the tourism industry; for instance, opportunity created through open borders that make it easy to access overseas market, (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2008).

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Pricing Strategy

The tourism industry in Australia has a developed market pricing strategy that is done by the Global Market Monitor. The pricing strategy is a fundamental aspect in that it aids in modeling activities in the tourism industry and other institutions involved in the tourism sector. “The Monitor is based on visitor and visa data as well as reports from our international offices, trade partners and industry colleagues,” (Tony Charter and Associates Tourforce). Such a global mechanism for the tourism sector ensures that the market rates are fair in the international perspective and reduces the risks of over/under pricing that may result into lose of customers and also ensures the industry gets good financial rewards. Pricing is also the strength of competition for organization within the same industry. “Core competencies are the collective learning in the organization, especially how to coordinate diverse production skills and integrate multiple streams of technologies,” (Pizam, 2005).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

CRS is one of the strategies employed by organizations in order to retain customers. This need has called for business organization to develop stronger focus on environment in relation to products’ designs as both local and international clients tend to shy away from environmentally degrading business practices. There are increasing corporate meetings for businesses to discuss more sustainable approaches. This is in line with the Australian objective of attaining a green economy and accreditation of environment conscious industries. The reasons for the organization of environment forums are to: market Australian as a destination of responsible and pro environmental, conservationist, develop inventory of services and products of best interest for the tourists. The practice at Werribee Park are ensure that the natural habitats are not interfered with by the operations of the park but there is more that still needs to be done. For example, the park should adopt other environmental conservation measures like building of generic building types that minimize energy use. “Contemporary tourism policy focuses on competitiveness and sustainability; they are the major parameters of tourism destination management (TDM),” (Kozak and Andreu, 2006). TDM entails skills for running a successful business balanced with a consideration for managing the environmental factors

Conclusion

Marketing strategy is an important aspect in business operations. The case of Werribee has presented an avenue of understanding that different aspects of marketing can be used to attract and retain customers. Though some strategies are unique for practice by an individual organization, it is generally possible to borrow successful business practices and apply to another and this should be an important lesson to all marketing students who aspire to be marketers at one point. It is however important to carry out research before adopting the use of any marketing strategy.

Reference List

Belk, R.W., & Sherry, J.F., (2007). Consumer culture theory: Volume 11 of Research in Consumer Behavior. Emerald Group Publishing.

Coastlearn. Sustainable tourism. Web.

Grigora, L & Salikhov, M, (2009). “Financial Crisis 2008:” Problems of Economic Transition vol. 51.

Hitt, M, Ireland, R & Hoskisson, R (2008). Strategic management: competitiveness and globalization: concepts & cases. 8th ed., London: Cengage Learning.

Hitz, M., Murphy, J., & Sigala, M. (2006). “Information and communication technologies in tourism 2006: proceedings of the international conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, 2006.” Springer computer science. London: Birkhäuser.

Kozak, M. & Andreu, L. (2006). “Progress in tourism marketing.” Advances in tourism research series. London: Elsevier.

Mooij, M (2004). Consumer behavior and culture: consequences for global marketing and advertising. Manchester: SAGE.

Pizam, A. (2005). International encyclopedia of hospitality management. Manchester: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005.

Proctor, T (2000). Strategic marketing: an introduction. Hove: Routledge.

Sassatelli, R (2007). Learning Consumer culture: history, theory and politics. London: SAGE.

Thompson, J & Martin, F (2005). Strategic Management: Awareness and change. 5th ed., London: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Tony Charter and Associates Tourforce. Tourism is your business. Web.

Williams, J.A. & Uysal, M. (2004). “Current issues and development in hospitality and tourism satisfaction.” Journal of quality assurance in hospitality and tourism series. Hove: Routledge.

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