Summer Set To Be The Hottest On Record
It may have been the wettest winter in a hundred years, but the UK holiday industry should be getting set for a sizzling summer, if we are to believe scientists, who are 75 per cent certain that 2014 will be the hottest on record for the UK and Eire.
The weather is being linked to the El Niño pattern, which occurs when waters on the Pacific equator become unusually warm, which can lead to disruptive changes in ocean and wind currents across the globe. In a study published by the PNAS journal, scientists in Germany claim they are able to forecast El Niño trends a year in advance, up from six months currently forecast, LiveScience reported.
Meanwhile VisitBritain is forecasting a record-breaking 2014 for tourism. The national tourism agency is expecting an increase of 2% in overseas visitor numbers, resulting in an estimated spend of around £21.5 billion, representing growth of 4.2% in nominal terms.
Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain said: “Government investment in the millions will bring tourism returns in the billions. This year is set to be a record – it just goes to show what can be achieved with a clear strategy and cooperation across all the major Government agencies promoting Britain overseas.”
It is business as usual for holiday park operator Park Holidays UK, who announced a record number of bookings in January and February, despite many of their parks being located in areas worst hit by winter’s savage storms. The company’s 23 parks are all based on the coast across Devon and southern and eastern England where some of the strongest winds, highest tides and most persistent downpours were measured. Holiday guests, it says, are unlikely to find any trace of the batterings received from the weather which caused millions of pounds worth of damage to other parks in Britain. March opening “We suspected that the affected parks would be fully dried out in time for our March opening, but thought it fair to offer booked customers a refund, or change of date or park. We’ve also been able to assure all of our of holiday home owners that their properties have successfully weathered the storms, and are now awaiting their return,” said group director Tony Clish.
The government has recently launched a £10 million scheme to provide hardship funding for SME businesses in areas affected by the floods. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for funding for things like immediate clean-up costs, materials, and exceptional costs to help them continue trading. If any affected company is unable to file accounts or other documents on time as a direct result of the floods, Companies House will agree an extension and not collect the penalties which apply for late filings. The helpline number to call for more information is 0300 456 3565.