Most tourists to Argyll are not aware that there are wind farms in the area, and half of those who are aware don't know their exact location, according to research by MORI Scotland. The survey, which was commissioned by the Scottish Renewables Forum and the British Wind Energy Association, assessed tourists' awareness and perception of wind farms in the area, to see how wind farm development might affect tourism in Scotland.
When asked if they are aware that there are wind farms in Argyll, three in five tourists (60%) say they are not. Of those who are aware, half (52%) do not know where in Argyll the farms are. Around one in four (23%) correctly cite Beinn an Tuirc as a location, and one in five (20%) Beinn Ghlass. Half of these (49%) have actually seen the wind farms.
When asked whether the presence of wind farms had a positive or negative effect on their impression of Argyll as a place to visit, over half (55%) of respondents maintained that it had a generally or completely positive effect, while one in three were ambivalent (32%). Less than one in 10 (eight per cent) felt that it had a negative effect.
Most tourists (80%) say they would be interested in visiting a wind farm if it were opened to the public with a visitor centre, with over half (54%) saying they would be "very interested".
MORI interviewed 307 tourists face-to-face in five locations — Tarbet, Inverary, Oban, Campbeltown and Lochgilphead — during the weekends of 21 – 23 and 27 – 29 September 2002.