Book first if you're going over the sea to Skye, UK police say

A buzzard glides across a hillock in The Braes area on the Isle of Skye September 18, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Police on the Isle of Skye have warned tourists to respect the area and ensure they have a prior booking for an overnight visit after the Scottish island known for its natural beauty became overwhelmed with visitors.

The guidance was issued as the Highland Games, a local festival of traditional sports and cultural events, took place in the town of Portree on Wednesday, marking the peak of the tourist season.

Businesses on the island, renowned for its glassy lakes and rugged mountains, have long campaigned for an infrastructure upgrade to cope with a growing influx of visitors.

“Drive and park sensibly, think about where you are going to stay and leave the area clean and tidy as you found it,” the Skye police said on Twitter, dismissing some media reports that they were advising visitors to stay away.

“We are not advising people not to come to Skye and not turning people away at the bridge - we love visitors and just want people to be prepared,” the Skye police added.

Scotland’s tourism authority says that in 2015 around 2.26 million visitors stayed overnight in the Scottish Highlands, where Skye is located off the western coast. Tourism provides more than 8 percent of Scottish jobs.

Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Alistair Smout and Pritha Sarkar