Windfarms are having a multi-million pound damaging effect on the region’s tourist industry, it has been claimed.
The tall, thundering structures could remove £4.1million from the economy by 2015. And 277 jobs in the tourist industry could be lost as a result. That’s according to new research carried out on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Experts from Glasgow’s Caledonian University picked four rural areas of Scotland for their study into the economic effect of windfarms.
They looked at current and planned windfarms, tourism numbers and interviewed visiting tourist.
Out of the Scottish Borders; Caithness and Sutherland; and Stirling, Perth and Kinross, this region was found to have the most windfarms either constructed and permitted or applied for with 365 turbines. That equals 8.2 per cent of the Scottish windfarm capacity.
The research looked at the number of tourists and accommodations which would be affected by those windfarms.
In Dumfries and Galloway, they suggest 98 per cent of visitors will see a windfarm with 32.4 per cent of tourists accommodations being able to see the structures.
Their report said: “In Dumfries and Galloway the current situation is only a negligible fraction of the future position.
“Partly this is the result of the development of the Robin Rigg offshore farm and its impact on the holiday accommodation along the Solway Coast.” The report stresses that the gloomy figure of a £4.1million tourism reduction is the “worst case scenario”.
It adds: “The potential problem is that many people find that man-made structures such as pylons and wind turbines reduce the attractiveness of a landscape.
“It is logical to assume that reduced quality of an important feature could reduce demand to some degree which in turn may result in either reduced prices for tourism services or reduced numbers of tourists or both.”
20 March 2008
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