Weather forecasters in the UK are in the firing line after their inaccurate predictions were blamed for sluggish attendance at tourist attractions over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
One such attraction that suffered from poor visitor figures over the period was the National Showcaves Centre in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. The centre’s boss, Ashford Price, is so incensed by the weather forecasters’ gloomy predictions for snow that never materialised, that he is threatening to sue the Met men for the thousands of pounds in lost revenue when visitors stayed away.
He spoke to the Daily Mail, saying, ‘The big problem is that we can’t afford for the Met Office to get it wrong on key holiday dates for the tourism industry. The forecasters said it would snow for five days over Easter, so we had hundreds of cancellations. Sure, it was cold, but there was no snow.
‘Tourism is the one industry in Wales which gives jobs to young people – and we had to send them away because so many people were cancelling their plans. I appreciate that predicting the weather is not an exact science, but I am pleading with the Met Office to warn people they may not always be right.
‘It seems that the gloomier the forecast, the more television weather presenters enthuse, but meanwhile campsites are staying empty, trekking ponies need feeding and we’re losing out on thousands of pounds.’
With his concern extending to the rest of the Welsh tourism industry, Mr Price said, ‘We have spoken to our legal teams and are waiting to find out the next steps.’
However, a representative from law firm, Irwin Mitchell, was quoted in the Daily Mirror, saying, ‘There would need to be a contract between the forecaster and the individual with duty of care for a breach to be recognised.’
Forecasters claim that their accuracy rate has been proven for six out of any seven days.