Yes, you read that headline correctly; the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) wants the weather forecasts for their state to be a bit more inviting – regardless of the reality.
According to an article from news.com.au, QTIC thinks bad weather forecasts are discouraging day-trippers and impacting their tourism negatively, going as far as requesting the Bureau of Meteorology to be more lenient in its reporting.
Per news, QTIC’s Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the current language used to forecast weather should be changed, citing examples such as “partly cloudy” and “chance of rain”, which he’d like switched to “mostly sunny” and “likely sunshine”.
Some other examples included swapping “showers” and “overcast” to “cooling down rain (after a hot day)” and “cool day”.
According to news, Gschwind said, “Weather messaging has a significant impact on weekend, spontaneous and daytrip travel plans.
“We prefer the ‘glass half full’ option when it comes to weather reporting — for example, ‘mainly sunny’ is more encouraging to domestic travellers than ‘chance of rain’.”
In Gschwind’s opinion, he feels that the negative forecasts of showers and rain should actually be marketed as kind of ‘drawcards’ for visitors, per news.com.au.
“Rain in Queensland doesn’t have the same implications as the northern hemisphere. I don’t think it should be framed in a bad way. It could even be described as a ‘cooling down shower’ or something.”
Speaking to news.com.au, University of Queensland tourism expert Dr Pierre Benckendorff explained how positive weather forecasts can actually impact visitor’s attitude or intention to visit a destination.
“We certainly see a downturn in occupancy at hotels and visitation at attractions when the weather forecast is less favourable. ‘Partly cloudy’ or ‘overcast’ does not tell tourists a lot,” he told news.
“More positive language that would still inform other industries without spooking tourists would certainly help.
“Unfavourable forecasts certainly impact on day trippers, possibly impact on short-stay visits but are unlikely to impact on long-haul visitors from interstate or overseas.”
According to news.com.au, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said, “A broad range of industries rely on accurate weather forecasts in their operations, and that these forecasts also influence how the public spends their leisure time.
“The most recent improvements to the rainfall forecast have delivered more specific, probabilistic forecasts to better inform our customers.”
So that’s a no, then?