In the year 2006, the management led by the chief executive of Ocean Park in Hong Kong was facing a major decision making challenge. This was a result of the news concerning the arrival and commencement of Hong Kong Disney land. Ocean Park was previously a monopoly and had never faced any competition challenges. Its monopolistic conditions of existence had made it have no counter measures to competition. The Disney land brought more competition to the ocean park since it has animation amusements; it has a very innovative strategy and also is well known for its ruthless and aggressive competition approach. The Ocean park management had come up with a master plan for redevelopment which was to refurbish its old amusement facilities. This was to be coupled up by other major plans to make the Ocean park a world class amusement facility. The company intended to make this possible by obtaining a loan of HK$ 5.55 billion from the government and also from private investors. The introduction of the Hong Kong Disney land in the entertainment market brought many challenges to the Ocean Park. One of the challenges included resistance of the Ocean Park labor force to change its working practice and culture. This is because the new redevelopment program resulted in introducing of new policies for human resource management and workers remuneration and compensation systems had also to be changed. Disney land had managed to employ a total of 5000 staff which Ocean Park would have needed to revitalize its human resource needed to compete with Hong Kong Disneyland. In the past, the Ocean Park had faced other challenges even with its monopolistic characteristics. Some of these challenges were external and others originated from internal causes. San example of external factor was the financial crisis that occurred in the Asian economy. This financial crisis had led the management to start talking about closing the Ocean Park. An example of internal challenge was the lag of human resource management policies to be up to date with the current policies. The Ocean Park in Hong Kong has to come up with strategies that would allow it to operate and behave competitively if it wants to survive in the tourism and entertainment industry.
Ocean Park should diversify its selling points by imitating the Disneyland in terms of the selling points like cartoon characters and fantasy world while maintaining the prices below the Disneyland prices.
The cartoon characters in Disneyland have proven to be a major attraction to the tourists and local residents. Including the cartoon characters in their basket of amusement and entertainment will complement the other selling points of Hong Kong Ocean Park. This Strategy will ensure that the Ocean Park retains its customers who might have been attracted by the cartoon characters in the Disneyland Cartoon characters. It will also attract more tourists to the Ocean Park thus increasing the revenue to the company than the Disneyland. The reasoning behind this fact is that some customers want a combination of Cartoon characters and what ocean Park offers. Development of cartoon characters in Ocean Park Package will help customers save money which they would have incurred in visiting the two amusement parks. The Disney land prices are high compared to the Ocean park prices. The adult charges in Ocean Park are HK$185, and Child charges are HK$95 compared to Disneyland of adults HK$295 and children HK$210. The customers will view the ocean Park as to be offering them a subsidized package and would favor visiting Ocean Park. This will increase the attendance per year way beyond the expected 5.6 million by Disneyland.
Initially, the Ocean Park management needs to hire a competent design team that will develop and design fantasy world and cartoon characters that are famous in the Chinese myths. This will distinguish the cartoons Characters in the Disneyland and create a new range of cartoons character that will offer new market attraction. The management will then come up with a new price that will cover the cost of the new invention but should be below that charged by the Disneyland. After the successful introduction of the new invention, the Company can then think of new selling points.
Ocean Park should plan to re-engineer its human resource management policies to meet its need and give it a competitive approach
Currently, Ocean Park has the largest number of employees of 37,100 compared to that of Disneyland of 18,000. This large number might be composed of many idle and ghost employees which might be consuming the company’s resources. Many employees are paid low wages and work in poor conditions like working outside under the hot Hong Kong sun.
The management needs to carry out surveys to determine the Human resource management policies being implemented by the competitor Disneyland. Then they come up with new policies to counter those that would attract their competent and skilled employees to the competitor. The management has to restructure its staff by introducing succession plan strategy of employment to promote loyalty of employees. This is to be achieved by increasing employees’ compensation and creation of better working environment like promotion opportunities compared to the Disneyland.