Wind farms have no impact on the number of people employed in the tourism industry where they are built, a study has found.
The research, published by BiGGAR Economics, looked at 18 wind farm sites across Scotland and examined the number of people employed in tourism in the local area before and after they were developed.
It found some of the local authority areas with the greatest growth in tourism employment also saw the greatest rise in onshore wind installations.
The report’s findings undermine criticisms of windfarms for driving down tourism made by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and, more recently, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon.
The American writer, whose popular fantasy book were made into a worldwide TV blockbuster, spoke out earlier this week saying that “If you go around screwing up your landscape, that’s certainly going to screw up your tourism.”
Ms Gabaldon has previously voiced objections against a planned wind farm near Loch Rannoch, where scenes for a television adaptation of her popular novels were filmed.
She has urged anti-windfarm campaigners to continue their fight against developments in wild land.
However, between 2009 and 2013, the level of employment in tourism in Scotland increased by almost 11 per cent during a time when the onshore wind sector in Scotland was growing rapidly.
In the majority of areas studied, sustainable tourism employment performed better in areas surrounding wind farms than in the wider local authority area.
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