New research on the impact of windfarms on Scottish tourism claims Stirling could be badly hit by negative effects.
The report by Glasgow Caledonian University shows the development of onshore windfarms will damage the tourism industry in Stirling.
The research looked at four areas of Scotland: Stirling, Perth and Kinross; Caithness and Sutherland; Dumfries and Galloway; and Scottish Borders.
Stirling, Perth and Kinross was said to receive the largest negative impact on tourism, with the area predicted to get £6.3 million less in 2015 than it would in the absence of windfarms.
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has demanded that the Scottish Government undertakes a national review of onshore windfarm development guidelines in order to ensure that Stirling and the surrounding area’s tourism industry is not damaged.
He says the report also showed a significant minority of tourists preferred landscapes without windfarms and that 17.8 per cent of respondents would not even visit an area if a windfarm was built.
Mr Fraser also cited the report as stating that most people appear to prefer to see a windfarm-free landscape from their accommodation (68 per cent) but that 28 per cent were neutral on the issue and nine per cent would like a windfarm view.
The results of the internet survey also suggested the average tourist was prepared to pay around 20 to 25 per cent more for a room with an “unspoilt” view than they are for a room with a view of a windfarm.
Mr Fraser said: “This report into the economic impact of windfarms on the Scottish tourism industry underlines that tourism and onshore windfarms are not compatible.
“This is the latest evidence that shows the harm windfarms do to the tourism industry and it is worrying to read that windfarm developments will have a direct negative locally.
“Tourism is extremely important to Stirling and, as the report sets out, almost a third of tourists state they prefer landscapes without windfarms.
“The findings in this report put even more pressure on the Scottish Government to consider a national strategy for windfarms.”
Stirling Council’s environment portfolio holder Jim Thomson said: “Tourism is a vitally important industry to the Stirling area, employing approximately 10,000 people directly and indirectly, bringing huge economic benefits to our area.
“Stirling Council is currently updating its planning policies to reflect the impact of windfarms on the tourism industry.”
Mar 19 2008
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