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There’s a bit of a carnival barker’s promise here — you know something’s loaded against you — but it’s still a cheap way of promoting the benefits of your less-than-rainy destination to places with much bleaker weather.
An Australian has devised a scheme that would put most British hotels out of business: 20 per cent off your bill if it rains more than 5mm during your stay.
With 2012 crowned Britain’s second wettest year on record and 2013 shaping up to be the coldest, it’s a small comfort to know that we’re not the only ones suffering.
During their recent summer, Queensland was hit by four cyclones, widespread flooding, chilly temperatures and so much rain that the phrase ‘Sunshine Coast’ began to sound ironic.
Inevitably, bookings for sun seekers during the popular Easter period are down on last year.
So Richard Stephens, director of Noosa International Resort in Queensland, is targeting this “incredibly poor” start by offering a 20 per cent discount – or ‘Rainy Weather Rebate’ – to guests if it rains more than 5mm during their stay.
With 57.4mm of rain falling in just 24 hours in Britain this January, the scheme would have put most British hoteliers out of business.
The offer has been described as “innovative” by Daniel Gschwind, CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, although the Sydney Morning Herald reported that he also expressed reluctance to take it on elsewhere.
This may be because elsewhere in Queensland, Mount Bellenden Ker has an annual rainfall average of 8.3 metres, and as a result is classed as one of the world’s wettest places.
The Noosa resort, which on its website boasts of ‘sun drenched lagoon pools’ and a neighbourhood ‘oozing seaside charm’, has tried the scheme in the past during which Stephens admits “it actually rained a lot, so I ended up giving a lot of 20 per cents back”.
This time around things are looking a little brighter, with an increase in bookings already reported since the offer was launched on Thursday. Stephens defended the scheme, stating that “at the end of the day it’s getting people to the property” – even if it is just to shelter from the weather.