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Wealth of Wind and Visitors: Tourist Industry Attitudes towards Wind Energy Development in Iceland

Department of Geography & Tourism, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland
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Academic Editors: Antonio Rafael Peña-Sánchez, Luis Pires Jiménez, Carmen Lizarraga and José Ruiz Chico
Land 2021, 10(7), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070693
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 26 June 2021 / Accepted: 28 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism and Employment in Urban Development)
The interest in harnessing wind energy keeps increasing globally. Iceland is considering building its first wind farms, but its landscape and nature are not only a resource for renewable energy production; they are also the main attraction for tourists. As wind turbines affect how the landscape is perceived and experienced, it is foreseeable that the construction of wind farms in Iceland will create land use conflicts between the energy sector and the tourism industry. This study sheds light on the impacts of wind farms on nature-based tourism as perceived by the tourism industry. Based on 47 semi-structured interviews with tourism service providers, it revealed that the impacts were perceived as mostly negative, since wind farms decrease the quality of the natural landscape. Furthermore, the study identified that the tourism industry considered the following as key factors for selecting suitable wind farm sites: the visibility of wind turbines, the number of tourists and tourist attractions in the area, the area’s degree of naturalness and the local need for energy. The research highlights the importance of analysing the various stakeholders’ opinions with the aim of mitigating land use conflicts and socioeconomic issues related to wind energy development. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind farm; wind energy; renewable energy infrastructure; impacts; tourism industry; nature-based tourism; Iceland wind farm; wind energy; renewable energy infrastructure; impacts; tourism industry; nature-based tourism; Iceland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sæþórsdóttir, A.D.; Wendt, M.; Tverijonaite, E. Wealth of Wind and Visitors: Tourist Industry Attitudes towards Wind Energy Development in Iceland. Land 2021, 10, 693. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070693

AMA Style

Sæþórsdóttir AD, Wendt M, Tverijonaite E. Wealth of Wind and Visitors: Tourist Industry Attitudes towards Wind Energy Development in Iceland. Land. 2021; 10(7):693. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070693

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sæþórsdóttir, Anna D., Margrét Wendt, and Edita Tverijonaite. 2021. "Wealth of Wind and Visitors: Tourist Industry Attitudes towards Wind Energy Development in Iceland" Land 10, no. 7: 693. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070693

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