Haste makes waste. In my case, I had to turn 50 before going bathing in the month of September for the first time. I mean, outside, in Berlin-Brandenburg, and desperately yearning for it. It was Tuesday, 01st of September, the last hot day of this year’s summer, with 29°C in Berlin, and an enjoyable 22°C water temperature in my chosen paddling pool.
And so was the summer for about three months, after some turbulent days in early June. On 13 June, Berlin illuminated under an unusual 32.8°C, albeit overshadowed by severe thunderstorm, which sadly struck dead one visitor of the Federal Garden Exhibition in nearby Rathenow. The first weekend of July greeted us with new all-time records for Germany: 40.3°C in Kitzingen (Bavaria) on 5 July, one-tenth above the previous records dated 1983 and 2003. On 7 August, Kitzingen added authority to it by detecting the same temperature again. Overall, the heat held for an unusually long period, paired by a broad drought. After severe storms around 17 August, the last decade of August came with a summer reprise of nearly 35°C in East and South Germany at least. In summary, the average variation to the long-time median exceeded two degrees Centigrade, and even more for some locations in the South.
Now, what does this mean for the tourism industry, whose volume business reaches its peak in July and August, sold on the labels „sun“, „beach“, „bathing“ – by jumping on an airplane to the Mediterranean or the Black Sea? Obviously, there is no point in spending all that hard-earned money and time if you’d be having the same in your home area just as much. Unless, tourism is more than what these aforementioned labels suggest. And so it is. First of all, it is a complex activity and consumer behaviour fostering repetition and requiring planning and organisation. You do remember your vacations more than you’d remember evenings on the balcony. And you tend to book well ahead, usually in the winter time. Also, tourism is “time-travel backwards”, and the touristic location a “chronotopy” (Hasso Spode). Furthermore, tourism-related factors like status symbols and culture, folklore, cuisine all defy meteorosensitivity. Way to go!
A golden harvest and a gentle autumn!
“Many people cycle or swim to keep trim. But if swimming is so good for the figure, how do you explain whales?” (Charles Saatchi)