CELIA Hobbs (Letters, April 16) employs the tactic of deploying carefully
selected statistics in order to make a political point which otherwise
wouldn’t stand up to examination and seeks to use the construction of wind
farms as justification for her assertion that “the SNP has sacrificed
Scotland’s tourist industry for its flagship policy”. Hyperbole aside, the
facts don’t back the assertion. Ms Hobbs quotes the fall in the number of
tourist trips to Scotland between 2005 (17.3m) and 2014 (15.52m) as proof
of her point. The SNP didn’t come to power until mid 2007 and as it didn’t
and couldn’t immediately blanket the country with wind farms the connection
seems tenuous. In fact tourism, as measured by tourist trips fell from 2005
on a yearly basis until 2010 (14.71m). Since then tourism numbers have
recovered, though not in a linear fashion.

There are numerous reasons why tourism numbers fluctuate. These include
both UK and worldwide economic factors, the relative strength/weakness of
sterling versus the world’s currencies, the number of high-profile events
occurring in any particular year and so on.

I’m sure tourists foreign and domestic don’t come to Scotland to look at
windmills. Then again they didn’t flock to Fife or the Lothians to stare at
coal bings and slag heaps and don’t visit the Ayrshire coast today to gaze
upon Hunterston nuclear power station. Man’s need to find fuel has had a
great impact on the landscape of Scotland over the centuries but the idea
that the SNP and wind farms are somehow destroying our tourist industry
isn’t just unproven, it’s untrue.

Keneth McNeil,
Alva Place, Lenzie.

SAS Volunteer

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