What a pity that there was no mention of how critical Scotland’s incredible wealth of natural heritage is in underpinning our tourism industry (your front-page report, 21 November)
Our fantastic and diverse wildlife and the many special habitats that support it provides a massive incentive to encourage people to come and holiday in Scotland.
Recent studies have shown that white-tailed eagles are worth more than £5 million annually to the economy of Mull alone, and red kites have similarly brought millions of tourist spend to Galloway.
In light of this, it is all the more important that we protect our precious natural assets from inappropriate development, and invest to enhance the natural environment where it has been damaged, thus ensuring that it will continue to exert an irresistible magnetic pull on tourists for years to come. VisitScotland should make sure that this invaluable natural resource plays a central part of its marketing campaign.
Head of Media, RSPB Scotland,
VISITSCOTLAND (your report, 21 November) is worried that our tourist numbers are declining.
One reason for the decrease has to be the all-encroaching wind-turbine developments everywhere you look. Would you choose to come to, never mind return to, places where there will be constant visual disturbance and 24-hour noise?
Visitors will confine themselves to the cities and towns where there are well-kent attractions, and not go where the hills bristle with turbines destroying the unique landscape they expected. They will not stay anywhere within earshot of the thumping, whining and humming towers either.
There are now very many documented examples of householders being so adversely affected by the noises that they lose sleep, have to wear ear-muffs when outside, even have to move to different rooms when the winds blow. Houses affected become unsaleable but there is inadequate, or no, compensation for the destruction of what can be a lifetime’s savings.
VisitScotland is being disingenuous in not acknowledging tourism will never recover from wind farm developments, as is Holyrood in asserting it does take into account local amenity when deciding turbine location – note only taking into account, not blocking applications when clear disruption of people’s lives is evident.
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