Belgian tourism officials ‘suing weather forecaster over rain predictions’

Tourism officials at several Belgian resorts plan to sue the weather service about a long-term forecast for a rainy summer which led to widespread holiday cancellations.

Several seaside resorts were incensed about a commercial weather forecaster that predicted bad weather for much of the summer, which hoteliers said has cost them “millions of euros” in lost trade. The tourist officials said a report by private weather bureau Meteo Belgique, which predicted only five days above 25 Celsius in July and bad weather in the first half of August, had been “disastrous” for business.

Members of the local hotel and restaurant federation said they would now take legal action against the bureau on the grounds of publishing “misinformation”. The 40-mile stretch of coastline in Belgium generates an estimated £2.2 billion per year for local hotels and restaurants – a third of which comes during July and August.

Daniel De Spiegelaere, head of tourism in the upmarket seaside town of Knokke-Heist, said local hotels had been “inundated” with cancellations after the weather forecasts were published in the Flemish tabloid newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws.


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