Martin’s Hill Wind Farm Tourism Survey

Surveying tourists for their views of a proposed wind farm in Somerset

Project duration: July 2002 to August 2002

This was a survey into tourists' views of a proposed wind farm in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset.

A survey was commissioned in order to answer the concerns of a number of people in Brean, Sedgemoor, about a proposed wind farm having a detrimental impact on the local tourism industry.

CSE worked with Quality Fieldwork (QF) to design and deliver a questionnaire aimed at tourists staying in and visiting the area. The survey was designed to assess their likely attitudes towards a wind farm, and whether or not it would deter them from visiting the area.

QF conducted the interviews face-to-face on location, on a random basis, between Mondays and Saturdays during August 2002. Respondents were screened to ensure that they did not live in the Brean area. The interviews were conducted at various points in the local area where visitors were likely to be found.

A sample size of 300 people (i.e. 300 separate interviews) was set as the minimum size of group recommended for statistical significance, with results being representative of the total tourist population for the area within a margin of +/- 5.7%. In fact, a total of 331 people were interviewed. We are therefore confident that the survey results are representative of all tourists visiting the Brean area.

The only segmentation applied to the survey was that a minimum of 10% of people interviewed should be between the ages of 10 and 17. Data regarding the actual profile of the visitors to the area was not available in order for representative samples to be drawn from different types of visitors. However, the random nature of the interviewing process, coupled with a very low refusal rate, indicates that the sample can be assumed to be representative. The actual refusal rate was not monitored, but interviewers reported both a high degree of willingness to be approached and a very high degree of interest in the subject.

The key question that the survey set out to answer was whether or not the proposed wind project would have a negative impact on the number of tourists who come to visit the area.

The key finding of the survey was that there would be no significant difference to the number of tourists visiting the area. Of the 331 people who were interviewed:

  • 91.5% said that the proposed development would make no difference to how often they visit the area
  • 3.6% said they would visit less often
  • 3.9% said they would visit more often
  • 0.9% had no opinion

With this sample size, these findings can be taken to be representative of the total tourist population for the area within a margin of +/- 5.7%.

Other key findings were:

  • The majority of respondents supported wind technology, with a total of approximately 8 out of 10 in favour or strongly in favour of wind power
  • Approximately 7 out of 10 respondents viewed the proposed wind farm as a positive development for the area
For further information contact:

Martin Holley | 0117 934 1419

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