Dutch Councilors Propose Penalties for Inaccurate Weather Reports

Town government considering fines for bad reports that might cause tourists to cancel plans.

Local councilors in a small Dutch town are trying to stem the decline of tourism dollars by punishing forecasters for “bad” weather predictions.

Councilors from Hoek van Holland, a seaside town in the western Netherlands, have complained that inaccurate forecasts, calling for stormy weather, have caused tourists to cancel their plans. They've proposed a solution: They want forecasters to be fined for their mistakes, The Telegraph reported.

“Last week it was really good weather over most of the country but the weather forecasts were full of heavy rain and thunderstorms, so people stayed home,” Joep Thonissen, head of the Dutch tourist attraction association told The Telegraph.

A spokesman for KNMI, the commercial weather bureau that serves the Netherlands, fired back at Thonissen and others like him in an interview with De Telegraaf (NED), "TV, radio and newspapers use the raw data we deliver but it is up to them to how their forecasts turn out."

Similar sentiments have been expressed in nearby Belgium, where “pessimistic” forecasts have cut into the tourism industry there.

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