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Wind farm threat to tourism trade

A wind development in Moray will deter visitors from returning to the area, according to a tourism survey carried out by a local accommodation provider. A year long survey in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area suggests 17% of people, mainly walkers, would be put off coming back to the area if it had a wind farm. The survey, begun in March by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Highland Holidays marketing group, has had more than 200 forms returned by visitors staying in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area and expects to have 350 returned by March next year.

A wind development in Moray will deter visitors from returning to the area, according to a tourism survey carried out by a local accommodation provider.

A year long survey in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area suggests 17% of people, mainly walkers, would be put off coming back to the area if it had a wind farm.

The survey, begun in March by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Highland Holidays marketing group, has had more than 200 forms returned by visitors staying in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area and expects to have 350 returned by March next year.

David Newlands who runs Glenlivet Wildlife dismissed suggestions their survey was biased.

"We are not pushing it down anyone's throats. The results will be important because the survey is aimed at visitors who choose to come here for holidays. It is not a simple snap shot of visitors passing through a car park one day in August.

"The money we generate as businesses is spent in the community. In turn those who holiday here, often for a week or more, also spend money in the area."

A three-day survey by developer Infinergy, also showed 8% of those questioned would not come back to the area if Dorenell Hill wind farm was built... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A wind development in Moray will deter visitors from returning to the area, according to a tourism survey carried out by a local accommodation provider.

A year long survey in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area suggests 17% of people, mainly walkers, would be put off coming back to the area if it had a wind farm.

The survey, begun in March by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Highland Holidays marketing group, has had more than 200 forms returned by visitors staying in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area and expects to have 350 returned by March next year.

David Newlands who runs Glenlivet Wildlife dismissed suggestions their survey was biased.

"We are not pushing it down anyone's throats. The results will be important because the survey is aimed at visitors who choose to come here for holidays. It is not a simple snap shot of visitors passing through a car park one day in August.

"The money we generate as businesses is spent in the community. In turn those who holiday here, often for a week or more, also spend money in the area."

A three-day survey by developer Infinergy, also showed 8% of those questioned would not come back to the area if Dorenell Hill wind farm was built on Glenfiddich Estate. The Infinergy survey conducted at three locations over a bank holiday interviewed a total of 108 visitors.

Andy Cameron from SoSMoray, which is campaigning against Dorenell, said the surveys bore out what many people had long suspected.

"We need not worry about those that say they will come back, it is the ones who say they won't that should concern us."

Objectors will urge Moray Council to recommend refusal of the application when it comes before councillors next month. However, the final decision will rest with the Scottish Government.

The Cairngorm National Park Authority has already "strongly objected" to the proposal citing fears for tourism, landscape and golden eagles.

Professor Terry Stevens of The Stevens View Partnership which is managing the Moray Tourism Audit, said Moray is lacking what are known as discretionary visitors - visitors who choose to holiday in the area as opposed to those who are visiting for work or family reasons.

"It is the people who choose Moray because of the quality of the landscape, say, for whom a wind farm could be a disincentive."

The tourism survey by Glenlivet Highland Holidays showed that 95% of people value beautiful landscapes and 98% believe the landscapes of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich are a key tourism asset.

Of those who responded, 68% said their enjoyment of the landscape would be spoiled by the proposed windfarm and 16.9% said they would not revisit the area. And while more than 85% said they supported renewable energy as a way of combating global warming, 75% thought that Glenfiddich is unsuitable for a wind farm.

However, Infinergy insists that wind farms do not have an impact on tourism.

On the company's website promoting the Dorenell development, they point to a recent public inquiry in Cumbria as evidence to the contrary.

The inspector at that inquiry said concerns had been expressed about the possible impact of the turbines on tourism.

Despite the construction of wind farms in various parts of the country, he said there was no cogent evidence to show a resulting reduction in visitor numbers.

"Indeed, Cornwall and Cumbria have the largest concentration of wind farms of any of the counties in England, yet, in both cases, the numbers of visitors attracted have increased since the turbines were erected," he said.

"It should also be noted that some respondents to the survey undertaken for the Cumbria Tourist Board considered that the wind farm would be an additional attraction."


Source: http://www.northern-scot.co...

OCT 31 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17730-wind-farm-threat-to-tourism-trade
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