The travel industry is one of the biggest and fastest-growing sectors globally, and weather has become one of its main selling factors. The World Tourism Organization sees weather and climate as “the most important influence on the choice of leisure travel destinations”.[1]

Whether booking a ski trip to the Alps, or a beach vacation in Florida, weather and climate are the main influencing factors on the choice of destination, ahead of even cost and timing.

Research shows that 86% of holidaymakers to the Mediterranean looked for climate information for the region, with 81% of them doing so prior to making a booking.[2]

However reviews of tourism websites and promotional materials have shown that “most tourism operators provide limited climate information to potential travellers, with the most common practice to provide only average monthly temperatures”[3]

Travel Agents and Booking sites that do not display climate and forecast information are jeopardising sales, as the majority of users will leave their site in search of this content. The only way to maximise profits is to create a good user experience, and give the customers want they want.

Not only is climate information highly desired by end-users, but similarly current weather conditions and short-range forecasts are “the most important factor in ‘last minute’ domestic leisure tourism”[4]

Equally this does not only apply to recreational travellers. Business travellers rely heavily on accurate, short-term weather information for routing decisions in order to avoid delays and diversions.

Travel and booking agents on the other hand can use weather and climate information to legitimise pre-departure contact to promote value-added services such as car rental and insurance.

The World Tourism Organization states that now more than ever, “Accurate, geographically specific meteorological information is essential for tourism operations.”[5]


[1] East Carolina University, http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/sustainabletourism/Climate-Weather-and-Tourism-Initiative.cfm

[2] Weather and Climate Information for Tourism, 2009, p. 30

[3] Smith, 1993; Perry, 1997; McBoyle pers. comm., 2009; Jones pers. comm., 2009

[4] Szalai and Ratz, 2006

[5] Final Communiqué, Secure and Sustainable Living – Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services


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