The complex relationship between the travel industry and the weather

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The travel industry accounts for one of the fastest growing sectors of all, seeing consistent increases within almost every market and country around world. Of course some countries and countries fare better than others when reaping the positive economic effects of tourism (which, unsurprisingly, is largely dictated by the respective region’s weather and climate). And with weather and climate being found to be “the most important influence on the choice of leisure travel destinations” (as according to the travel industry’s top dogs: the World Tourism Organization) here we delve deeper into what else weather means for the travel industry.

Cost and convenience: All overlooked for weather

The weather has been found to be the most influential factor upon where holiday makers choose to go, and when they choose to book their holiday. What’s more this is true of sun seeking holidays as it is for holidays to cooler destinations (even including skiing holidays!).


A few startling facts about consumer behaviour and the travel industry

Sometimes we can best learn from a few well sourced statistics. So here are some staggering facts to reflect just how weather affects consumer behaviour within the travel industry.

–          As many as 86% of holidaymakers seek out climate information before they forge ahead with a booking (Weather and Climate Information for Tourism, 2009);

–          Last minute bookers are similarly interested in current and short weather forecasts when choosing where to book ( Szalai and Ratz, 2006);

–          Following a relative downturn in foreign holidays UK holiday makers are once more looking forward to travelling abroad, with 20% of travellers planning on spending more this year on holidays than last year (ABTA 2015);

–          The good weather within the UK during June and July 2014 saw a significant dip in those travelling abroad, as happens each summer where a hot, dry patch of weather occurs (ABTA 2015);

–          In the coming 12 months as many as one third of consumers (35%) will choose to travel to a new country, making access to reliable weather predictions ever more important as such travellers are likely unaccustomed to the best times to travel (ABTA 2015).


A well placed pointers for travel agents and booking sites

From the statistics within this article it’s pretty clear to see that the weather and the travel industry are intrinsically linked, and that consumers regard the weather as the most important factor for their holiday choices. To this end it’s safe to say that travel agents and booking websites that fail to provide an insight into regional climate and weather information are seriously missing a trick and putting their profit margins at risk in the process.

So whether such sites opt for the featuring of a relatively simplistic weather widget, or go all out to include holidays that are searchable by a comprehensive weather filter, the need for reliable insight into the weather is essential.


The travel industry is inherently linked to weather and with the weather seeming set only to become more extreme over the next decade it seems that the popularity of destinations around the world could increasingly become fluid, as hot destinations become unbearable and pleasant all year round destinations become ideal season free holiday options.


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