SWOT Analysis for Witless Bay

640px-SWOT_en.svgEight years ago, Council held a strategic planning session during which a SWOT Analysis of Witless Bay was conducted. Below is a transcript of this analysis, that was adapted according to our current reality and the feedback from the Community Enhancement Committee’s brainstorming sessions. What else should be included as a strength, weakness, opportunity or threat? Email me (sebastiend@mun.ca) or send me a message via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sebastiendespres.page) to share your ideas!

Witless Bay’s STRENGTHS
What gives Witless Bay an advantage?

Great number of volunteers & volunteer networks
Diversity of talents & abilities
Strong Town Plan
Reliable, competent & knowledgeable town staff
Great regional fire department w/ strong membership & committed members
Tourist chalet equipped with public toilets
Beautiful setting (scenic; bird & whale watching; icebergs)
Rural character
Great trail systems (for both hiking & motorized use)
Strong, stable tax base
Valuable historical resources
Unspoiled natural resources
Proximity to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve
New recreation centre
Public swimming pool
Home to largest colony of North Atlantic puffins in North America
Home to second largest colony of Leach’s Storm Petrels in the world
Unique activity – the Puffin Patrol
Existing amenities for visitors (B&Bs, an inn, efficiency units, coffee shop, boat tour operator, gas station, restaurant, potter, etc.)

Witless Bay’s WEAKNESSES
What gives Witless Bay a disadvantage?

Fragmentary regulations & policies
Little communication between volunteers, groups & organizations
Lack of a coherent vision for future expansion
Lack of attention to certain social issues
Little industrial tax base
Lack of local employment opportunities
No “central theme” uniting the Town
Some infrastructure in disrepair (signage, wharves, trails)
Unattractive & generic Town Office
Escalating land prices; diminishing amount of available land
Lack of proper marketing (inadequate signage, maps, Website, tourist info centre)

What elements could Witless Bay exploit to its advantage?

Great tourism potential
Well situated for industry (HWY 10 / Witless Bay Line / Bay Bulls Harbour)
Close to St. John’s & other important centres/destinations
Unspoiled environment
Fantastic place to live
Fantastic place to do business
Diversifying land use & tax base (industrial, business, & residential subdivisions)
Potential partnerships with neighbouring towns & LSDs
Expand housing for seniors
Great potential for business (including a bakery, a restaurant, & a craft shop)
Puffin Patrol is a great ongoing media story

Potential THREATS to these opportunities
What elements could cause trouble?

Water supply & its protection
Influence exerted by larger centres could run counter to the Town’s interests.
Potential for negative impact on ecological reserve & endangered species
Inadequate planning could cause problems
Lack of common vision could make goals difficult to realize
Urban sprawl

Why a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis involves specifying the objectives of a project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective.

One way of utilizing SWOT is matching the strengths to opportunities, and convert weaknesses or threats into strengths or opportunities. If the threats or weaknesses can’t be converted, the town could act to minimize or avoid them.

Community Enhancement Committee main page
Ideas from the Community Enhancement Committee
The CEC’s Tourism and Marketing Strategy