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

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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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