The body representing Scotland’s mountaineers has called for a boycott of the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards after an energy firm was controversially named as sponsor of the event.
There has been furious reaction to Scottish and Southern Energy’s role in the prestigious awards.
The company is not only behind the contentious Beauly to Denny power line, but also a number of controversial wind farms throughout the country.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, which represents 11,000 members, has described news that the the power corporation was to sponsor the 2013 tourist awards as “a substantial embarrassment”.
Chief Officer David Gisbon said: “This company is responsible for some of the most undesirable wind farm applications made in Scotland. Its proposals often face fierce opposition from fragile communities which rely on tourism for sustainable local jobs.
“Adding insult to injury is the fact that SSE is sponsoring the awards during the Year of Natural Scotland, during which we are supposed to be encouraging visitors to enjoy the very wild landscapes the company wants to industrialise in order to increase its profits – £1.3 billion in 2011/12.
“We would suggest that potential entrants might think about boycotting the awards this year in the hope that HITA (Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards) will find more suitable sponsors in the future.”
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