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Orlando International Airport Evaluation Essay


A SWOT analysis of Orlando International Airport

SWOT analysis is a framework that is utilised by strategic management teams of business organisations to identify factors that could impact the performances of their organisations (Sevkli, Oztekin, Uysal, Torlak, Turkyilmaz & Delen 2012; van Wijngaarden, Scholten & van Wijk 2012).

Sevkli and colleagues (2012) argue that the factors could either be based on the external or internal business environments.

The SWOT analysis of Orlando International Airport (MCO) considers some of the factors that could impact its performance either negatively or positively from within the business establishment.

The firm could easily control the factors. On the other hand, the organisation does not have ability to control external factors that could affect its performance outcomes.

MCO is characterised by factors that could enable it to achieve significant growth trends in the future. The factors act as internal attributes of the business organisation.

First, the firm has a strong reputation in the field of tourism (Alon, Lohwasser & Dugosh 2013). Many tourists from all over the world associate MCO with tourism activities that are unique in Orlando. Thus, the firm could utilise the reputation to grow its revenues.

Second, the physical size of MCO is a strategic strength that could enable it to gain market share. The airport has many runways, which ensure that many planes can land and take off simultaneously (Alon et al 2013).

Third, the airport is characterised by the adoption of a strong foundation of technological applications that offer a solid platform on which the firm’s activities are conducted.

For example, there are CCTV cameras that help in the monitoring of activities within the organisation. In fact, the cameras have enabled the organisation to be secure from illegal activities like terrorism. MCO has a strong workforce that is dedicated to offering quality customer service (Alon et al 2013).

However, the organisation is also characterised by several factors that act as weaknesses. MCO should attempt to avoid the negative impact of the factors so that it could achieve its expansion goals.

First, the company is unable to utilise market data to project its growth and expansion in the future. Market data are essential because they help in projecting economic performances, which could help strategic managers to make important decisions (Mengel, Sis & Halloran 2007).

Second, MCO has not been able to attract direct flights due to the poor organisational structure. The structure needs to be changed so that it could allow efficient management, which could support expansion activities of the firm.

The external environment of MCO offers excellent opportunities that could be utilised to guide the performance of the organisation (Markovska, Taseska & Pop-Jordanov 2009).

First, loyal customers have enabled the organisation to conduct profitable business activities. This has been achieved through excellent customer service that has created lasting experiences with customers.

Second, similar services that are offered by the competitors of the international airport are quite expensive. It is notable that MCO offers relatively cheap services that are geared towards attracting more customers.

In fact, the firm should continue offering relatively cheap services so that it can attract more customers who will be important for expansion in the future (Alon et al 2013).

Third, the geographical location of the business establishment is a great opportunity, which could help the firm to expand. It is located in Orlando, a location that has diverse tourist attractions.

However, the external business also presents some threats that impact the performance outcomes of the firm negatively.

First, MCO has strong competitors across the world (Parton & Ryley 2012). In fact, most of its strongest competitors in the aviation industry are based in the US.

Thus, it needs to adopt strategic marketing and management approaches so that it can expand in the future. The approaches should be geared towards making the company offer unique services (Davison, Ryley & Snelgrove 2010).

Second, the airport was negatively impacted by the world recession in the late 2000s, which resulted in less spending. In fact, full recovery has not yet taken place. Less spending by customers implies that many customers have little money to spend on tourist activities, which form the backbone of the airport.

An analysis using the hexagon competitive identity

Hexagon identity is based on the theory that asserts that governments have important roles to play with regard to determining the performances of business organisations (Anholt 2006).

Thus, the government should have a clear understanding about its long-term and short goals in terms of investments, policies and communications (Anholt 2006).

If the government could support the six components contained in the hexagon identity framework, then it could have increased chances of thriving economically.

The following components are contained in the hexagon: culture, tourism, investment, policy, people, and brands. Orlando could be impacted positively because the federal government focuses improving the economy (Anholt 2006).

First, the US government understands that tourism is essential for economic excellent economic performance outcomes. One of the things through which the leadership has helped to sustain growth of the tourism industry is reducing taxes that tourist operators are required to pay.

In addition, excellent communications networks have been established for efficient tourism in the country. Thus, MCO stands to benefit the government’s support with regard to tourism because it is located at the core of one of the best tourist attraction centres in the US, i.e. Orlando.

Second, the US government believes in empowering its people so that they could economic independence. In fact, the most hard working citizens in the country have the best chances of succeeding economically. Thus, this aspect will help MCO achieve expansion plans because of the government commitment and support.

Third, culture is used to identify people based on their unique attributes. The US government is committed to supporting cultural diversity in the country.

Cultural diversity in the US could be utilised Orlando to implement strategies that could focus on different cultures. For example, it could offer services on the premises of all world cultures to ensure that all people are satisfied.

I could also organise with the major tourist operators in Orlando so that it can advise people on the best attraction sites based on their culture. This will greatly increase its revenues and it to expand its operations to more countries across the world.

Fourth, investment is an integral component in the hexagon identity framework, which focuses the government’s commitment to supporting major investments that could result in improved economic performance.

It is clear that the US government aids several business activities in the country through providing conducive business environments. Also, the government regulates the taxation so that more aspiring business organisations could launch their activities in the US.

Fifth, brands are important in all companies. They are used to identify products of firms based on their uniqueness (Anholt 2006; Kavaratzis 2009).

Strategic managers of companies focus on the creation of the unique brands that could be easily identified by potential customers in the market (Ashworth & Kavaratzis 2009).

MCO would benefit from its endeavours to create excellent brand because the US government supports its companies to have brands that could compete both locally and internationally (Morgan, Pritchard & Pride 2012).

Sixth, policy is a component in the hexagon identity model, which implies the commitment of governments in supporting business activities through the implementation of policies that create conducive business environments.

The policies could have an impact on the operations and profitability of business establishments.

Gap analysis of Orlando

Gap analysis is a strategic management model that is utilised by strategic managers to assess the performance of an organisation on the premises of the actual outcomes and projected outcomes (van Ittersum, Cassman, Grassini, Wolf, Tittonell & Hochman 2013).

It could provide the management of companies with crucial facts with regard to market dynamics. If a firm has a very wide gap, then it could imply that it has not achieved a significant portion of its target. Thus, the strategic management could work towards implementing strategies that could be used in narrowing the gap.

Some important gaps are evident in Orlando. Although Orlando has the potential to attract a significant number of foreign investors, it has not attracted investors from any countries that could greatly impact its performance. Thus, a wide gap is established in terms of foreign owned companies, which operate in Orlando.

This could be based on the perception gap analysis with regard to Orlando. For example, Chinese companies have not invested in Orlando, yet they are known their increased levels of innovation and competitiveness.

This is demonstrated in appendix 1. Although, Orlando has the potential to attract a significant number of visitors from every country annually, the tourist attraction area has been recording major gaps with regard to the number of customers. In fact, some countries do not have customers who visit Orlando.

It is worrying that citizens from countries like Germany and Belgium have not visited Orlando since 2007. This could be caused by poor marketing approaches of major companies that operate in the region (Bunse, Vodicka, Schönsleben, Brülhart & Ernst 2011).

It is also worrying because there are gaps on the premises of the number of visitors who visited Orlando from the United Kingdom and Western Europe in 2010 and 2012. The analysis is based on the actual gap interpretation in the context of the greater Orlando region.

This is illustrated in appendix 2. In order to avoid the gaps in the future, aggressive marketing of tourist attraction products in the greater Orlando would be adopted.

Variables to be considered by the management of MCO

In order for the management of MCO decide on the best approaches to adopt so that the company could expand its operations; it would be important to gather the right data (Graham 2013).

Methods of data collection would also be important so that the management could analyse data that have a high level of authenticity. Data would be collected based on the following factors and/or attributes:

  • Number of passengers at MCO
  • Population diversity in the greater Orlando region
  • Untapped markets
  • Countries where major companies from Orlando operate
  • Major foreign firms that conduct business in the greater Orlando with regard to the number of personnel, sales volume and number of industries

The management would analyse the number of customers who passengers who use the international airport so that it could determine their country of origin and frequency of travelling. Thus, the management could implement marketing approaches that would be geared towards increasing the number of passengers.

Population diversity data would be important for the management to understand the level of heterogeneity within the population (Pope 2008). Population diversity positively correlates with sales volume (Zhang & Zhang 2006).

Thus, the top management at MCO would execute marketing strategies that would attract the population on the premises of diversity. Untapped market data would be critical in understanding the potential markets that would need to be utilised.

The markets would be identified based on the number of potential customers and the level of spending. Also, it would be essential for the management to collect data with regard to the countries in which business organisations from the greater Orlando operate.

The data would help the management to focus on the countries because they already have good relationships. Better trade relations would be utilised to launch excellent marketing approaches that would attract visitors to the greater Orlando region.

In addition, MCO should focus on the analysis of data that would give crucial facts about the main foreign firms that are conducting business in Orlando. The data would reveal the number of staff, sales volume and type of industries (Fuellhart 2007).

After establishing the facts, the management should then pursue the countries with the best performing foreign firms based in Orlando. The focus would enable the firm to attract a significant number of passengers who would help the organisation to expand its operations (Zhang & Zhang 2006).

Market of Orlando and targeted segments

The market of Orlando is quite diverse and it could support a thriving economy. The area offers an excellent business environment that supports various businesses in the context of many industries. The following market segments characterise Orlando (Alon et al 2013):

  • Technology market- this is supported by university research and development and a tech-savvy workforce.
  • Health care market- the area has a medical school, many hospitals, and research laboratories.
  • Modelling and training market- the area boasts of the most well established simulation and training centre in the US.
  • Space market- major efforts of discovering the universe were conducted in Orlando. Although the space research activities ended in the early 2000s, the firms that were involved in the space programme have since started to offer commercial space flights

How the MCO management should prioritise the countries, regions and airlines to pursue

In order for MCO to expand its operations, it needs to prioritise the countries, regions and airlines to pursue. It should identify the countries to pursue based on their number of citizens who use the international market.

Based on the number of visitors presented in the exhibits, the management should focus on the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Canada. The locations would provide excellent platforms on which to base the ambitious expansion plan of the firm.

With regard to airlines, MCO should concentrate on understanding their customer flows and customer destinations. Thus, the organisation should pursue airlines that have significant customer flows before it would pursue those characterised by fewer customers (Alon et al 2013).

The management should prioritise to pursue the following airlines based on their number of customers: China Southern Airlines, China Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air China, Emirates Airline, Japan Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Air France KLM, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and US Airlines.

The airlines operate across major regions of the world and they would provide MCO with opportunities to expand their operations in the future.


Alon, I, Lohwasser, M, & Dugosh, J, 2013, Orlando International Airport: Landing International Airline Business, Ivey Publishing, London, United Kingdom.

Anholt, S. (2006). Competitive identity: The new brand management for nations, cities and regions. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, United Kingdom.

Ashworth, G, & Kavaratzis, M, 2009, ‘Beyond the logo: Brand management for cities’, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 16, no. 8, pp. 520-531.

Bunse, K, Vodicka, M, Schönsleben, P, Brülhart, M, & Ernst, FO, 2011, ‘Integrating energy efficiency performance in production management–gap analysis between industrial needs and scientific literature’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 667-679.

Davison, L, Ryley, T, & Snelgrove, M, 2010, ‘Regional airports in a competitive market: A case study of Cardiff International Airport’, Journal of Airport Management, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 178-194.

Fuellhart, K, 2007, ‘Airport catchment and leakage in a multi-airport region: The case of Harrisburg International’, Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 231-244.

Graham, A, 2013, Managing Airports 4th Edition: An International Perspective, Routledge, London, United Kingdom.

Kavaratzis, M. 2009, ‘Cities and their brands: Lessons from corporate branding’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol.5, no. 1, pp. 26-37.

Markovska, N, Taseska, V, & Pop-Jordanov, J, 2009, ‘SWOT analyses of the national energy sector for sustainable energy development’, Energy, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 752-756.

Mengel, M, Sis, B, & Halloran, PF, 2007, ‘SWOT analysis of Banff: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the international Banff consensus process and classification system for renal allograft pathology’, American Journal of Transplantation, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 2221-2226.

Morgan, N, Pritchard, A, & Pride, R, 2012, Destination Brands, Routledge, London, United Kingdom

Morgan, N, Pritchard, A, & Pride, R, Eds, 2011, Destination brands: Managing place reputation, Routledge, London, United Kingdom.

Parton, J, & Ryley, T, 2012, ‘A business analysis of XL Airways: What lessons can be learned from the failure?’, Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 19, no. 1, pp 42-48.

Pope, JC, 2008, ‘Buyer information and the hedonic: the impact of a seller disclosure on the implicit price for airport noise’, Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 498-516.

Sevkli, M, Oztekin, A, Uysal, O, Torlak, G, Turkyilmaz, A, & Delen, D, 2012, ‘Development of a fuzzy ANP based SWOT analysis for the airline industry in Turkey’, Expert Systems with Applications, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 14-24.

van Ittersum, MK, Cassman, KG, Grassini, P, Wolf, J, Tittonell, P, & Hochman, Z, 2013, ‘Yield gap analysis with local to global relevance—a review’, Field Crops Research, vol. 143, no. pp. 4-17.

van Wijngaarden, JD, Scholten, GR, & van Wijk, KP, 2012, ‘Strategic analysis for health care organizations: the suitability of the SWOT‐analysis’, The International journal of health planning and management, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 34-49.

Zhang, A, & Zhang, Y, 2006, ‘Airport capacity and congestion when carriers have market power’, Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 229-247.


Appendix 1

A representation of foreign business organisations that conduct their businesses in Orlando on the premises of their country of origin

A representation of foreign business organisations that conduct their businesses in Orlando on the premises of their country of origin

Appendix 2

Visitors to Orlando based on their country of origin

Visitors to Orlando based on their country of origin
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