The Last Resort (TLR)

The Last Resort (TLR) is a 4-5star integrated hospitality and tourism

BMA 314 Organisational Change & Development Semester 1/2018 Case Studies Case Study #1: The Last Resort (TLR) Background The Last Resort (TLR) is a 4-5star integrated hospitality and tourism resort situated in regional Tasmania. It developed from a small motel and then progressively from standard to luxury accommodation and a range of tourist activities including high-end walking tours, game fishing and an 18-hole golf course with a reputation for both beauty and difficulty. The business has had success marketing to local, state and interstate customers with an emphasis on a tourism but also attracting corporate clients and locals (who help maintain customer levels during the quieter winter months). It is a well-established business and has the following accommodation facilities; 25 x 5 star rooms (Recent/new additions) 15x 4-star self -catering chalets styled units (1 & 2 bedrooms) 80 x 4 star units Its range of services includes conference/function facilities, 3 restaurants, bars, gym, pool/spa, golf pro shop and guided 4WD tours. The current business environment is mixed with increases in international tourists and from grey nomads. These groups split into three market segments that are either: Having a short break (2-3 days) and wish to cram as much as possible into that time; People with an environmental focus who stay 5-7 days; Those focused on activities such as game fishing and 4WD drive tours. There is overlap between these groups, but the experiences sought are different and require employees who can effectively cater for the differences. Recently, TLR has become the major venue for weddings in the region. This has upset some of the existing venues which have lost business. Challenges include airline and ferry service schedules which sometimes limit total numbers but also are not always attractive to the more high end customers. There is a current application proposing a helipad and a landing strip. Organisational context The GM grew up locally and had a 15- year international career in luxury hotels and cruise ships prior to returning to Tasmania 5 years ago to take up the GM role. TLR has enjoyed a relative integrated and comprehensive human resources approach (by hospitality industry standards). This was developed by the previous GM (who had an HR background) and supported by the current GM although she is a bit sceptical of whether the value of the HR function is worth the cost. The senior management team (outside of the GM) consists of: The Hotel Manager (who is also the Deputy GM); Tourism and Development Manager; Functions and Events Manager (new to the Last Resort); Chief Financial Officer (who started an accounts clerk when the business first opened) Transport and Logistics Manager (all visitor transport and all supplies for the Resort) There has been good corporate culture with team work at its core. A stable management team leads a somewhat constant part-time and full-time core crew that is augmented over the peak season with casual labour. During the softer season the staff numbers are around 125 however, that can swell to above 250 during the peak season. The macro level outlook for the labour market in regional Tasmania is tight despite unemployment being above the national average. Skills shortages in key areas such as chefs, tourism professionals and HR, together with an ageing workforce, are exacerbated by the relatively low image of hospitality/tourism as a positive long term career option. The GM believes that it is time for TLR to thoroughly review its current approach and plan to become the premier tourism destination in Tasmania in the next 5-7 years. One aspect is to consider narrowing its accommodation and tourism offerings to become more specialised. The senior management team has conducted a diagnosis of the current opportunities and threats prior to developing a change strategy and the key findings are: Whilst the current reputation is strong, there is a declining percentage of return customers and a view that Tasmania may be starting to lose some attractiveness as a destination. There are also some proposed new developments, that are targeting high-end tourists, and new golf courses are coming on-line; There is an opportunity to target the Last Resort as a honeymoon destination for couples from North Asia and India; There are challenges in selecting and developing employees who can consistently produce high-end service to customers who appear to be increasingly demanding. A linked issue is increasing complaints from Local Councillors arguing that TLR is a poor corporate citizen for not employing and training many locals. Some environmentalists are critical of the impact of 4WD tours and the proposed helipad/airstrip on the habitat of local wildlife. Whilst corporate culture has been strong, there are signs this may not last as turnover has been increasing, the level of cooperation between Departments is reducing and the effectiveness of internal communications has declined. This area is the responsibility of Functions and Events Manager and the new appointee is coming to grips with the scope of this role. As a result, there has been a marked increase in rumours and speculation about restructuring and redundancies. The GM is keen for the change process to proceed quickly but has a strong commitment to a transparent, inclusive and ethical process. As HR Manager (who has been at the Last Resort for 2 years), you have the task to develop a project plan for the change strategy to be delivered to the senior management team in four weeks. You see this as an opportunity to enhance the role and reputation of the HR function and to seek a position on the Senior Management Team.

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