Scotland’s tourism chiefs say they don’t condone massive price hikes for accommodation during next year’s Open golf championship in St Andrews.
Hundreds of thousands of people will descend on the Fife town for the 150th tournament in July.
And demand for hotels and house rentals is already through the roof, despite some sky-high prices.
Among the most expensive is a four-bedroom house within walking distance of the Old Course for £31,678.
VisitScotland says it is understandable accommodation providers want to capitalise on unprecedented visitor numbers.
But it warned of a longer-term impact on Scottish tourism.
From mansions with helipads to budget hotels
While the super-rich are seeking 10-bedroom houses with helipads during the week-long event, there is also demand for more modest accommodation.
The cheapest option available there is a bed and breakfast for £4,323 for two people.
The town’s Premier Inn is also fully booked and the closest one with rooms is 17 miles away in Dundee.
So anyone planning to stay in Fife between July 10 and 17 will need to get a move on.
VisitScotland says demand is huge.
“The last time The Open was staged in 2015 in St Andrews, more than 237,000 spectators enjoyed the week of golf,” said a spokesperson.
“And many more people were on site and staying in the area for the staging of the event, guests and media.
“Two-thirds of those spectating are thought to come from outside of Scotland.”
The Open brings £100m to Fife
The economic benefit to Fife of hosting The Open is estimated to be more than £100 million.
And golf tourism generally, excluding major events, brings in £51.7m a year and supports 1,800 jobs.
This means it’s important to ensure people can afford to stay.
“Hosting The Open delivers a long-term lasting impact in terms of tourism so it is important to ensure a positive experience and value for those attending,” said VisitScotland.
“There are a range of options on offer to suit every budget and help consumer choice.”
The spokesperson added: “VisitScotland does not condone the small number of operators who are significantly increasing their prices as we have to look at the longer picture for Scottish tourism.
“The 150th Open is set to be the biggest ever held with unprecedented demand.
“And while it is understandable businesses want to capitalise on that, it is important to have longer-term interests at heart.”