Wind farms and rural tourism: A Portuguese case study of residents’ and visitors’ perceptions and attitudes

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Abstract

Residents’ and visitors’ perceptions of and attitudes towards existing wind farms, as well as the perceived impact of wind farms on tourism, are examined in this article with reference to a built heritage site in the Portuguese countryside. Based on a set of semi-structured interviews, the paper sheds light on the positive impact that the community’s or local actors’ involvement in the constitution, management and decision-making processes has on the residents’ perceptions and attitudes regarding wind farms, and also on the trade-off with the perceived effect of wind farms on local tourism. Moreover, it shows that although most visitors criticised the proximity of wind turbines to medieval architecture, a clear majority of them accepted their presence and virtually all of them stated that these facilities had no impact on their choice of destination.

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