A new report released by Biggar Economics reveals that tourism in Scotland is unaffected by onshore wind farms.
The study, whose findings were released last month, aimed to ‘understand the relationship, if any, that exists between the development of onshore wind energy and the sustainable tourism sector in Scotland.’
Tourism was often considered during the planning phase of many onshore wind farms, and it was assumed to create a negative impact for the local community. As the report states, ‘campaigns against wind farms often receive significant media coverage and wind farm developers are encouraged to consider the impact of proposed wind farms on the tourism sector as part of the planning and environmental impact assessment system.’
This new report debunks this myth once and for all, and proves that ‘some of the local authorities with the greatest growth in tourism employment also saw the greatest rise in onshore wind installations,’ even though there is ‘no overall relationship between the two factors.’
From 2009 to 2014, onshore wind grew by over 120%, while employment in the sustainable tourism sector in Scotland grew by over 10%, showing that both industries can coexist and grow simultaneously.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks commented on the report by saying:
“Hopefully this latest research will finally put to bed the myth that windfarms have a negative impact on tourism jobs. In fact the reality is that in some cases windfarms have themselves become tourist attractions.”