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Who can Stop the Rain? Perceptions of Summer Weather Effects Among Small Tourism Businesses

Trude Rauken, Ilan Kelman, Jens Kristian Steen Jacobsen, Grete K. Hovelsrud

This paper examines the effects of summer season weather and weather changes on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism and hospitality industry as perceived by enterprises in two coastal areas in Northern Norway. The study is concentrated on the possible importance of weather and indirect effects of weather for these businesses. The data are derived from two-stage semi-structured interviews with industry representatives. Weather and weather changes do not stand out as being a major concern among the respondents, although it is acknowledged that some types of weather, notably precipitation and low visibility, can negatively affect businesses. This is a pragmatic view that should be understood in relation to the mainly small operator size and the limited future planning of SMEs. At the same time, the operators are familiar with combining outdoor recreation and unpredictable weather meaning that the weather is just not “bad enough” to be concerned with, especially given tourist expectations of weather in these locations.

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