Study claims tourists ‘not put off’ by wind power in Scotland

In a survey commissioned by tourism agency VisitScotland, about 80% said a wind farm would not affect their decision about where to take a holiday.

The study follows claims by US tycoon Donald Trump that wind farm developments would kill off tourism.  He is expected to tell MSPs that the Scottish government’s policy of promoting wind power is a mistake.

Nearly half of those questioned in the VisitScotland survey said they would be interested in visiting a wind farm if it had a centre included.

Most of the 3,000 people questioned in the study neither agreed nor disagreed that wind farms spoil the look of the Scottish countryside.

A similar number neither agreed nor disagreed that they would avoid an area of the countryside if there were a wind farm.

The Scottish government said the survey proved that wind farms were not a problem for most visitors.

The study came as Mr Trump prepared to appear at a Scottish parliament committee which is looking into green energy.

Earlier this year, Mr Trump – who is objecting to a planned offshore wind turbines development near the site of his £1bn Aberdeenshire golf resort – accused First Minister Alex Salmond of being "hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline".

He has also attacked Scottish Natural Heritage and VisitScotland for "remaining silent on the issue".

Mr Salmond hit back at the criticism ahead of Mr Trump’s appearance before MSPs.

He told the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Inverness that investment in Scotland did not "imply ownership of Scotland".

He added that energy policy would be set by the Scottish people and parliament, and not by others.