Weather Forecasters Blamed For Drop In Normandy Visitors

Open Jaw

Tourism numbers are dropping in Normandy, and one industry leader is blaming… weather forecasters.


Hervé Lebel, creator of the Festyland fun park near Caen and founder of the Normandie Sites tourist website, says a focus on potential rainfall is impacting visitor numbers.


Lebel says there is too much focus on the negative by TV presenters when it comes to the weather.


“Normandy tourism relies heavily on Parisians, but when they watch the TV weather forecast on a Thursday night and it suggests rain in Normandy at the weekend, then no one comes and hotels lose 50%  of their takings,' Lebel said. “Forecasters need to know they can have a huge negative economic impact on the region. They have a huge responsibility.”


Lebel says the term 'at risk of showers' is a major culprit in putting tourists off visiting the region of Normandy, and is annoyed that forecasts are generalized for a region of almost 650 miles.


“They also give the impression that if it's going to rain in Cherbourg for example then it's raining across the northern coast of France; we are given the impression the weather is the same in Brest, Brittany as it is in Pas-de-Calais,' Lebel added.


A quick check by Open Jaw for this week’s forecast for Cherboourg revealed the following: Tuesday, Rain; Wednesday, Scattered Showers; Thursday, Showers; Friday, Scattered Showers. In Brest, the same days brought these results: Rain, Thunderstorms, Rain, Showers. Maybe Lebel has a point.


He is now hoping to pull the general public and politicians together and install webcams around Normandy so weather forecasts can be more accurate from area to area.


Normandy is famous for being the site of the D-Day landings where Allied forces landed on the beaches to plan a surprise attack on the Nazis during the Second World War.


Millions of tourists from all over the world visit the scenes where the battles took place and the war monuments found throughout the region to remember those who lost their lives.

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