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Tourist sector is paying the price for misguided promotion of wind farms

Official figures have revealed a catastrophic decline in Scottish tourism last year with tourist spending down by £50m (“Olympics put a dampener on Scots tourism industry”, The Herald, January 11.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay has blamed the poor weather. Since when do tourists come to Scotland for the weather?

This is the same tourism chief who claimed a few weeks ago that giant industrial wind turbines which now scar some of our most beautiful hills and glens are not a deterrent to tourists. He said there was even anecdotal evidence that wind turbines might attract visitors to Scotland. Well, now we have the answer.

Scotland’s unique selling points are its world-renowned landscapes and seascapes, which the SNP Government is determined to industrialise. Already, more than 1700 giant industrial wind turbines have been erected across 142 operational wind farms in Scotland. With 37 more wind farms currently under construction, 123 consented and a massive 165 further developments submitted for planning, thousands more will be built to meet Alex Salmond’s ludicrous target of the equivalent of 100% of our electricity from renewables by 2020.

Wind turbines are costly, useless and force us to rely on back-up supplies of coal and gas. They don’t make any significant impact on CO2 emissions, but they do make a massive impact on energy bills. Already more than one-third of all households in Scotland have been driven into fuel poverty, faced each winter with the awful decision on whether to spend their money on food or fuel.

Now Scotland’s tourist sector is paying the price for this misguided and ruinous energy policy and the best VisitScotland can come up with is to blame the weather.

Struan Stevenson,

MEP (Conservative),

The European Parliament,

Rue Wiertz, Brussels.