It’s the weather

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The UK is blessed with a generally mild climate where it tends not to get too hot (I know that last week was different but bear with me a paragraph or two longer) and we get plenty of rain to make the green look lush rather than dried out and brown.

Bournemouth beach
Busy Bournemouth on a sunny day. But why visit some resorts on a wet day?

Commentators have used have said that Britons are fixated with the weather and that the weather dictates our leisure actions. Why go out to the beach on a wet day? Go to something indoor instead. As such the weather can have a big impact on our tourism.

Remember a few years ago when the tourism people in Bournemouth complained about the BBC weather forecast that got it wrong so a bank holiday weekend was dry and appealing for outdoor activities whereas the forecast said it would be a dour weekend?

That it can effect tourism can be seen in the recently released data from the Wales Tourism Barometer although the findings could apply to anywhere in the UK and Ireland.

When asking practitioners in tourism (eg attractions, hotels, destinations and restaurants/cafes) as to why there has been an upturn in business, about a third say that it is because of better weather. Only 9% say that it is due to an upturn in tourism. When you ask the interviewees why they have seen a reduction in visitors, again, about a third say the weather.

image of Rhossili in Gower
Rhossili – consistently voted one of the very beaches but what is there to attract us there on a dour day?

When you break down Wales into the areas, the south west and the north of Wales didn’t fare quite so well as the south east, mid and north east Wales. In each of these areas the weather was not quite as favourable earlier this year.

It is weather that is the dominant feature in domestic tourism. A forecast of sunshine – not necessarily hot but dry – is a bigger driver to tourism than Brexit, the value of the pound and serendipity. They all have an effect but bad weather means we holiday makers stay away or go abroad; good weather and we get out, explore and enjoy ourselves.

You might say that is all common sense and I am writing nothing new and you are probably right. But if everyone knows this why aren’t there more enclosed areas for enjoyment on inclement days? We don’t all want penny arcades, shopping centres or museums.

Just as Center Parcs put outdoor attractions under cover, destinations and attractions need to invest in all-weather attractions to get us to visit them. And that’s because the weather will probably always play a dominant factor on what we do.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,