The cost of sending a delegation led by First Minister Alex Salmond to the Ryder Cup golf tournament in America was almost £470,000, the Scottish government has said.
The trip in September was part of a plan to “maximise the economic benefits” of hosting the cup in Scotland in 2014.
The government estimates the event will generate about £100m for the economy.
Opposition parties criticised the costs as excessive.
In a written response to a question from Labour, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop stated: “The overall cost of Team Scotland’s participation at the 2012 Ryder Cup was £468,580 and every effort was made to minimise costs including liaising with partner organisations to secure preferred rates where possible and identifying in-kind support.
“The Team Scotland approach in Chicago will help ensure we maximise the economic benefits of hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014 which will generate at least £100m for the Scottish economy.”
The tournament at Medinah, near Chicago, provided a “unique opportunity” to promote Scotland to a worldwide audience, she added.
The visit incorporated ministerial visits and business meetings, with the 36-strong delegation also including representatives of VisitScotland, EventScotland and Scottish Development International as well as the Scottish government.
- BBC News