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Warning Over Depressing Forecasts

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7:01am 17th July 2012

Here Visit Cornwall boss, Malcolm Bell, warns that depressing forecasts could end up costing Cornwall millions of pounds in lost bookings...

Don't you just hate it when others appear to delight in an issue that may be superficial or insignificant to them, but is critical and where jobs and businesses can be at risk from inaccurate and misleading comments. It will not come as a surprise that the weather presenters are driving me and many in the tourist industry to rant and rave during the current unseasonal conditions.

Rather than help the great British public in these difficult and austere times to have at least some fun and pleasure in their holidays and free times, they seem obsessed to make them even more depressed. Rather than provide more detailed local forecasts and highlight the days when it will be dry let alone fair and sunny, they are obsessed with making a bad situation far worse than it should be. As I write this article the week has been fair with two sunny days, two fair days, and there will be one wet day. So when a news reporter called to say that they were planning to film in Cornwall I suggested the following day, but they replied that was no good as it was forecast to be a good day and they were coming the day after when it would be raining for most of the day!

This, in my opinion, is unprofessional reporting given the actual weather that week. Likewise I despair when weather presenters all too often seem to delight and get excited about poor weather and skip over the periods of fair weather. Come on guys, I do not want any of you to lie, all we want is the truth and nothing but the truth.

So what can we do? Well I have lobbied the Met Office over the years and by and large they are very professional and in the short term provide accurate forecasts. It is the throw away lines by presenters that are making a bad situation far worse and I ask the industry, where justified, to contact the TV programme directors each time a flippant comment is made to remind them they are there to deliver accurate and professional forecasts and not try and be stand-up comics at our expense, let alone turn a drama into a crisis! Let us fill their Facebook pages with great pictures of people having a good time in Cornwall - we have the power to fight back!

Likewise, we all need to promote the paid-for and free activities available to visitors who are coming to Cornwall, and to those who we want to attract. Using the power of the web and social media to show Cornwall as it is, not what they may think it is, to ensure they have a great time and come back next year.

7:01am 17th July 2012

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