Summer Arrives at Last in Normandy

SeaBeachSummer is due to arrive properly at last in Normandy this weekend with weather forecasters predicting warm and sunny weather for the next few weeks with some parts seeing 30 degrees.

It will be particularly welcome for the tourism industry which has seen a slow start to the season which many believe is due to the weather.

Meteo France is reporting sun and average temperatures of 25 degrees across most of Normandy this weekend. Temperatures might be slightly cooler on the coast with the highest likely to be 30 degrees in the Orne.

Tourism outlets in Normandy have reported a mixed start to the season, according to the latest report from Normandy Tourism board. ‘Almost all deplore the poor spring weather and said that this has been the main reason behind a slowing of activity,’ says the bulletin.

In May and June four out of 10 tourism outlets reported lower visitor numbers compared to the same months in 2012 which was also a slow start to the season.

The beginning of May was helped, however, with school holidays and bank holidays creating a number of long weekends. But cold weather in the rest of the month depressed activity. Some visitors shortened their stays and others postponed or cancelled.

There wasn’t much improvement in June although the Armanda in Rouen boosted figures in and around the city. ‘Since Spring fell below expectations tourism professionals are now hoping for a good summer. Currently the outlook is uncertain. There are a lot of vacancies. The weather will remain the determining factor,’ the bulletin adds.

All sectors of the tourism industry have been affected to some extent. Almost half of hotels report lower visitor numbers in May with most blaming the weather although some also believe the economic outlook is having a lesser effect.

Some four out of 10 camping sites reported bookings were down in May but the same number said visitor numbers were steady. But rental accommodation seems to have done better, especially over the bank holiday weekends at the beginning of the month but the rest of May was down on 2012 figures.

The poorer weather may have boosted indoor activities with museums reporting an increase in numbers, especially those involved in the Normandy Impressionism festival which has been heavily marketed.

But June was not much better. Almost half of tourism professionals reported an average month and the rest was split between good and bad. One in two said June was worse than the same month in 2012.

But there was a regional split last month with the Armanda in Rouen boosting tourism in Upper Normandy. Nearly one in two reported good results. But, while four in 10 said they had an increase in attendance, more than a third reported a fall.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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