Coastal tourism businesses comprise a large and diverse consumer of climate and weather forecasts information. An online survey of tourism business owners, managers and support specialists was conducted within the eight North Carolina oceanfront counties asking respondents about forecast usage and purposes as well as why certain forecasts are not used. Respondents were also asked about the perceived dependency of their business on climate and weather as well as how valuable different forecasts are to their decision making. Business types represented include the following: Fishing, Outdoor Recreation, Accommodations, Food Services, Parks and Heritage, and Other. Weekly forecasts were the most popular with monthly and seasonal being the least used. Comparison analyses revealed that outdoor-oriented businesses (Fishing and Outdoor Recreation) perceived themselves significantly more dependent on climate and weather than indoor-oriented ones (Food Services and Accommodations). Outdoor businesses also valued short-range forecasts significantly more than indoor businesses. This suggests a positive relationship between perceived climate and weather dependency and forecast value. The low perceived dependency and value of short-range forecasts of indoor businesses presents an opportunity to create climate and weather information resources directed at how these businesses can capitalize on weather forecasts. The low use of long-range forecasts among all business types can be related to the low value placed on these forecasts. Most businesses found them to be ?not important? factors in their decision making.
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