Tourism

There is no evidence to suggest that wind farms deter tourists from visiting notable areas around the UK. Indeed many wind farms have themselves become tourist attractions.

Studies on the impact of wind turbines on tourism around the UK include:

England

Wales

In a visitor survey undertaken on behalf of the Wales Tourist Board, Investigation into the Potential Impact of Wind Farms on Tourism in Wales, 68% of respondents said that if the number of wind farms increased in Wales it would make no difference to the likelihood they would take holidays in the Welsh countryside.

Scotland

  • 2002: A study carried out by MORI Scotland in 2002, Tourist Attitudes Towards Wind Farms, investigated the views of tourists visiting Argyle and Bute. The research concluded that the wind farms in Argyle and Bute were not seen as having a detrimental impact on the tourists’ visits and would not deter them from visiting the area again.
  • 2008: A Scottish Government-commissioned report in 2008, The Economic Impacts of Wind Farms on Scottish Tourism, showed that wind farm developments have a minimal impact on tourism provided they are not visible from important tourism corridors. 93% of those interviewed said wind farms would have no impact on their decision to return to Scotland.

Visitors’ centres

Many large wind farms are now required to include a socio-economic assessment as part of the planning application. Increasingly these studies are incorporating the development of innovative schemes, such as visitors’ centres, to encourage people to visit the wind farm and the local area.

Visitors’ centres for wind farms include:

Further information

RenewableUK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) website contains some analysis of wind farms and tourism.