You reported on explanations for why tourism figures have fallen (28 January). The fall should be looked at in a longer time frame to see how disastrous it is for the biggest industry in Scotland.
The last successful year for Scotland in terms of, for example, American tourists, was 2006 when 475,000 visited Scotland, contributing 25 per cent of expenditure. Even in 2009 when America was targeted for Homecoming there were only 352,000 visitors contributing to 17 per cent of expenditure.
New Zealand would attract a similar type of tourist looking for unspoilt scenery but its tourism figures do not show the same year-on-year decline of tourists from America. They have not covered their beautiful land with wind turbines.
The government-sponsored Moffat study in 2008, based on a much smaller number of projected wind farms than is now planned, admitted that the percentage of tourists who disliked wind farms would go elsewhere.
They assumed “the elsewhere” would be in Scotland. Could it be that the tourists who replied to surveys saying they would not return if turbines were built actually meant it?
All the accommodation providers within 2.5 km of the Auchencorth wind farm proposal (132 tourist beds) agreed that the wind farm would affect business but the tourist board did not assist in the defeat of the proposal. Wind farm developers just say it can’t be proved that wind farms affect tourism.
It is about time common sense prevailed and tourism chiefs spoke up for their industry. Another wind farm three miles away from Auchencorth at Leadburn, Spurlens Rig, now threatens the tourist route from Edinburgh to Peebles. What a welcome at the Gateway to the Borders. Which alternative route could be used?
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