Report: Coastal windmills have had no effect on tourism

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No image availableNL Times

Placing windmills near the Dutch coast will have very little to no effect on tourism in the affected beach areas. Between "0 and 10" percent of tourists and day-visitors will stay away because of windmills on he horizon, according to a study done by Decisio on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Volkskrant reports.

These results have little in common with a previous study commissioned by the coastal communities, who vehemently oppose the plans for offshore wind farms because they believe it would be a disaster for tourism.

That study showed that 17 to 20 percent of tourists would stay away if the windmills obstruct the view. According to the municipalities, that would mean 6 thousand jobs lost. The municipalities want the windmills not to be placed at all, or at least at a distance further than 22 kilometers offshore - the distance where they are virtually invisible from the beach.

According to Decisio's study, however, the coastal communities' estimate is five times too high. In worst case scenario, if 10 percent of tourists stay away, it will mean 1,200 lost jobs.

On balance, the windmills will create more jobs than will be lost. The offshore wind sector annually creates 1,600 temporary jobs and 475 permanent jobs.  Placing the windmills further away to make them invisible, will cost an additional 1.3 billion euros.

Decisio expects that the offshore windmills will have no effect on house prices.