Hosting the 145th Open golf championship at Royal Troon delivered more than £110 million worth of benefit to Scotland, according to an independent study announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Open, which attracted 173,000 spectators to Ayrshire, delivered an economic impact of more than £64 million according to the study compiled by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre.
The study said that Scotland also benefited from an additional £46 million in destination marketing benefit thanks to the exposure of the Open, which was broadcast on television in 193 territories to more than 600 million households worldwide.
The research, which was commissioned by The R&A, VisitScotland and South Ayrshire Council, concluded that Ayrshire alone benefited from spending by event specific visitors and on event infrastructure amounting to £23 million in economic impact.
About 49% of the spectators who attended The Open travelled from outwith Scotland, while two-thirds of Scots spectators came from outside Ayrshire.
About 62% of non-Ayrshire residents indicated they would return to South Ayrshire for a break within 12 months.
Sturgeon said: “Hosting The Open is a chance to see one of the world’s most popular sports return to the country where it all started, so these are brilliant figures which highlight the huge economic benefit that bringing home such a prestigious championship has for Scotland.
“Troon is a fantastic course enjoyed by players and spectators alike, both for the quality and challenge of the course, and the remarkable scenery.
“However, it’s much more wide-ranging than that – it showcases Scotland’s ability to host world class events, it has benefits for local businesses and hotels – and it also inspires the next generation of players.
“We look forward to welcoming the world to Carnoustie in 2018 for the 147th Open Championship.”
Bill McIntosh, leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “The Open was a resounding success for South Ayrshire, with tens of millions of pounds of investment helping to support the local economy while marketing our area and many attractions across the world.
“The report found that 62% of non-Ayrshire residents said that they’d return here for a holiday, which is a fantastic endorsement of the welcome people enjoyed during their visits last year, something that will bring further economic benefits to the area.
“As the birthplace of Open golf, Ayrshire and Arran has a worldwide reputation for the sport, with incredible Championship venues, some of the top courses in the UK and, of course, our own eight links and parkland Golf South Ayrshire courses.
“We’re serious about keeping the sport alive and we’re already well placed to realise a long-term legacy from last year’s event and look forward to welcoming many more Opens in future years.”