A GROUP of leading German travel agents were treated to a tour of some of Wicklow's most popular destinations as guests of Tourism Ireland.
The trip was organised so German holidaymakers could get a feel for what to expect during ' The Gathering 2013.'
The ten travel agents visited Brooklodge Hotel and Macreddin Village, where they undertook a site inspection of the hotel, before travelling on to Glendalough.
They enjoyed a spot of lunch at The Wicklow Heather Restaurant in Laragh village, before heading off along the Wicklow Way for a walking tour with local guide Christopher Stacey.
They also had dinner at Lynhams of Laragh and stayed overnight.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland's manager for Central Europe, says, 'we are delighted that these travel agents have taken time out from their busy schedules to come and visit Wicklow and Ireland.
'For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our wonderful scenery, the many things to see and do here, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met.
'Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important as they help the travel agents to know exactly what we have to offer potential German holidaymakers; the aim is that when they return home to Germany they are really enthusiastic about the destination and better equipped to advise their clients on future travel plans.'
Germany is considered the world's largest outbound travel market as over half the population take a holiday abroad each year.
Germany is also the third largest source of visitors to Ireland.