â€œ97 per cent say wind farms would have no impact on their decision to visit Scotland againâ€
Scottish Government study released today on economic impact of wind farms on tourism, claims that for 97% of visitors â€œwind farms would have no impact on their decision to visit Scotland againâ€. The study also claims 68% of tourists were positive about the statement â€œa well suited wind farm does not ruin the landscapeâ€, with a further 12% neutral.
Jason Ormiston, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, BWEAâ€™s sister organisation in Scotland, in welcoming the report, said: â€œThis report confirms that the impact on tourism of sensible wind farm development is minimal, if not zero, and if there are any losses to the Scottish economy they would be more than offset by establishing a renewables industry in Scotland.â€
He added: â€œBy 2020, the Scottish renewables industry will be worth billions, whereas this report says, on a high development, total visibility scenario, that the Scottish tourism industry will contribute Â£4.7 million less than it otherwise would have done to the Scottish economy if renewable electricity targets are delivered.â€
The study, completed by Glasgowâ€™s Caledonian University, based on survey responses and research findings, states that the total potential drop-off in tourist income could be as little as 0.18%, with income from renewables growing â€œby over Â£2 billion in real termsâ€. In total, it found 75% of respondents felt wind farms had a positive or neutral impact on the landscape. The findings are consistent with a MORI Scotland 2002 poll, conducted amongst visitors to Argyll and Bute.(2)
Adam Bruce, BWEA Chairman said: â€œThis is quite simply excellent news for the Scottish economy and environment. It shows that the purported adverse effect of wind farms on tourism is simply a myth. It also shows something that the BWEA has been saying all along: benefits of wind power outweigh the costs, by a very large margin.â€